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The Difference between Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse

April 1, 2024 | Total Views : 82
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Solar and Lunar eclipses are among the most intriguing celestial events. They happen every year. In 2024, there will be 5 eclipses – 2 of them will be solar eclipses and 3 will be lunar eclipses.

The first of these will happen on March 24-25. It will be a Penumbral lunar eclipse. The second on April 8, will be a total solar eclipse. The third, on September 17-18 will be a partial lunar eclipse. An annular solar eclipse will be taking place on October 2. Finally, there will be an (almost) lunar eclipse on October 17.

Eclipses stir a lot of interest in both astronomers and astrologers. Let us know more about them, and also the differences between solar and lunar eclipses.

What is an Eclipse?

An eclipse involves three celestial bodies: the Sun, Moon, and Earth. During an eclipse, the light from the sun and moon are partially or completely obscured for a brief interval of time.

Solar Eclipse (Surya Grahan)

Solar eclipses occur only during a new moon phase, when the Moon comes between the Earth and the Sun. The Moon will cast a shadow on Earth during a solar eclipse, which blocks totally or partially, our view of the Sun.

Lunar Eclipse (Chandra Grahan)

Lunar eclipses take place during the full moon phase, when Earth comes between the Moon and the Sun. The Earth's shadow falls on the Moon's surface, making it dark. Sometimes, it takes on a deep crimson color for a few hours. A lunar eclipse is visible from half of the planet.

Differences Between Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse (Surya Grahan)

Lunar Eclipse (Chandra Grahan)

Here, the Moon is between the Sun and the Earth.

Here, the Earth is between the Moon and the Sun.

It happens 2 to 5 times a year.

It happens 2 to 3 times a year.

There are 3 types of solar eclipses -Total solar eclipses, partial solar eclipses, and annular solar eclipses.

Lunar eclipses are of 3 kinds - total lunar eclipse, partial lunar eclipse, and penumbral lunar eclipse.

Solar eclipse happens during the daytime.

Lunar eclipse happens at night.

Solar eclipses are linked to new moon days.

Lunar eclipses are linked to full moon days.

During a solar eclipse, for a few minutes, the Moon partially or completely obscures the Sun's light.

During a lunar eclipse, the Earth's shadow partially or completely obscures the Moon.

It lasts around 5-7 minutes.

It usually lasts for an hour.

It is harmful to watch a solar eclipse with the naked eye. One should wear protective glasses to avoid eye damage.

It is safe to see a lunar eclipse with the naked eye. It does not need any protective glasses.

The first lunar eclipse of the year will be a penumbral eclipse. The last penumbral solar eclipse happened in 2022. Penumbral lunar eclipses occur at least twice in a year. This eclipse can be seen in parts of Ireland, Belgium, Spain, England, South Norway, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Netherlands, France. However, it will not be visible in India.

The first lunar eclipse of the year will be a penumbral eclipse. The last penumbral solar eclipse happened in 2022. Penumbral lunar eclipses occur at least twice a year. This eclipse can be seen in parts of Ireland, Belgium, Spain, England, South Norway, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Netherlands, and France. However, it will not be visible in India.

Kinds of Solar Eclipse

Total Solar Eclipse: Here, the Moon completely blocks the sunlight and one can see the solar corona.

Annular Solar Eclipse: When the Moon’s apparent size is smaller than that of the Sun, making the Sun resemble a ring surrounding the Moon.

Hybrid Solar Eclipse: When an eclipse appears like a total eclipse in some regions of the world, whereas in other regions, it looks like an annular eclipse. It is a very rare phenomenon.

Partial Solar Eclipse: When the Sun and Moon are perfectly aligned, and the Moon covers the sunlight only partially.

Kinds of Lunar Eclipse

Total Lunar Eclipse: Here, the Earth completely blocks the sunlight from reaching the Moon, but some sunlight that reaches the Earth’s atmosphere is refracted and makes the Moon glow dimly. This gives rise to the blood Moon, which appears red in color.

Partial Lunar Eclipse: Here, the Earth, Sun, and Moon are not in exact alignment, and the Earth will be overshadowing only a part of the Moon.

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse: Here, the Moon falls in the Earth’s penumbral shadow, and the Earth casts a faint shadow on the Moon, causing a Penumbral lunar eclipse.

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