5b: What is the difference between solar and lunar eclipse?
During a solar eclipse the sun is obscured by the moon.
Seen from the center of the solar system (center of Sun) the sun, the moon and finally the earth are lined up.

But having lunar eclipse the sequence is "Sun - Earth - Moon".

All celestial bodies have to be in a straight line. A lunar eclipse can be watched all over the entire night side of the earth:
  1. because the moon's orbit is slightly tilted towards the earth's orbit

  2. because the earth's shadow is so large, that it covers the entire moon.
Therefore lunar eclipses will take place twice a year.

Keine Angabe
Fig. 43: Emergence of lunar eclipse
© Sternfreunde Bad Salzuflen e.V.
and courtesy of
"Verein der Sternfreunde Bad Salzuflen e.V." (site in German language only).

Read more at:
5c: Why don't solar eclipses turn up every month?

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