A solar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are in alignment and the Moon blocks light from the Sun, creating shadows on Earth. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are in alignment and Earth blocks light from the Sun, creating a shadow on the Moon.
To better understand solar & lunar eclipses…
LET’S BREAK IT DOWN!
A solar eclipse happens when the Moon’s orbit causes it to move between Earth and the Sun. When this happens, the Moon casts a shadow over Earth. A solar eclipse can occur only at the phase of new moon, at which point the Moon cannot be seen because its lighted half is facing the Sun and its dark side faces Earth. Solar eclipses occur because the Moon is about 400 times closer to Earth than the Sun and about 400 times smaller. Those proportions, coupled with its elliptical orbit around the Earth, allow the objects in this Earth-Sun-Moon system to occasionally align in such a way that the Moon can appear to block the Sun. During a total solar eclipse, the Sun’s atmosphere, or corona, is visible.
Lunar eclipses happens when Earth blocks the Sun’s light from reaching the Moon. A lunar eclipse can occur only when the orbits of the Sun, Earth, and Moon are in complete alignment. Additionally, they can occur only when the Moon is full, meaning that you can see its entire surface with an unaided eye. There are three types of lunar eclipses: total, partial, and penumbral. The most dramatic of the three occurs during a total lunar eclipse, during which Earth’s shadow completely covers the Moon.