Types of Eclipses

A sequence of a total solar eclipse runs across the screen
Total Solar Eclipse sequence

Photo courtesy of American Astronomical Society / Rick Fienberg

Most of our lives, we are focused on what is in front of us. When we gaze at the stars, we reflect on our place in the universe. An eclipse event brings that reflection into more concrete terms.

Two types of eclipses are visible from Earth, an eclipse of the moon and an eclipse of the sun. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth moves between the sun and the moon, blocking the sunlight that is normally reflected by the moon. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon is directly between the sun and the Earth, casting a shadow on the Earth.

Learn more about the different types of lunar and solar eclipses and how they occur.

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    Last updated: April 10, 2017