- A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes behind the earth so that the earth blocks the sun’s rays from striking the moon.
- A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, and the Moon fully or partially covers the Sun as viewed from some locations on Earth.
- A Solar eclipse always occurs two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse.
- Lunar eclipses can only occur during a full moon. Solar eclipses can only occur during a new moon.
- Eclipses very often occur in threes, alternating lunar, solar and lunar.
- The maximum time a lunar eclipse can last is 3 hours and 40 minutes. The maximum time for a total solar eclipse is 7 minutes and 40 seconds.
- Lunar eclipses can occur up to 3 times a year. Solar eclipses can occur at least 2 and no more than 5 times a year.
- Lunar eclipses are visible over an entire hemisphere. Solar eclipses are visible in a narrow path a maximum of 167 miles wide.
- The cycle of eclipses repeats every 18.6 years called the saros.
- The eclipse shadow moves at 2,000 mph at the Earth’s poles and 1,000 mph at the Earth’s equator.
Solar Eclipse Facts for Kids
Eclipse 2009: Africa, Europe and Central Asia
Goddard Space Flight Center: Eclipse Page
Introductory Eclipse Tutorial
Lunar Eclipse Computer – Locations Worldwide
Lunar Eclipse Computer – U.S. Cities and Towns
Lunar Eclipses 2000 – 2020
NASA: Eclipse 99
Sky and Telescopes: Eclipse
Solar Eclipse Information
Total Solar Eclipse
Total Solar Eclipse 1
What Causes a Lunar Eclipse?