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.