Difference between Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse

solar eclipse geometry

Both solar eclipse and lunar eclipse are among the most amazing celestial events visible from earth. The word eclipse has root in the Greek word ekleipsis which means “fail to appear” or “abandonment” or “downfall”. When the ever present heavenly bodies like the Sun and the Moon disappear from the sky, it has to cause some amazement. In the article we are discussing major differences between solar and lunar eclipses.

Difference between Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse
Basis of Comparison Solar Eclipse Lunar Eclipse
Geometry solar eclipse geometry lunar eclipse geometry
Alignment Solar eclipse occurs when the moon comes in between the earth and the sun. Lunar eclipse occurs when earth comes in between the sun and the moon.
Time It occurs during the day time. Occurs during the night time.
Duration Maximum duration of solar eclipse can be 7.5 minutes. Lunar eclipse can last for about 1 hour and 47 minutes.
Frequency Occurs once in about 18 months. Occurs about twice a year.
Moon Phase Happens when the moon in the new moon phase. Happens when moon is in the full moon phase.
Viewing Looking directly at an eclipse sun can cause harm to the eyes. Viewing lunar eclipse with bare eyes is safe.
Total Eclipse A totally eclipsed sun’s disc becomes invisible as dark disc of moon covers it. A totally eclipsed moon’s disc appears reddish.
Types A solar eclipse can be total, partial, annular and hybrid. A lunar can be total, partial and penumbral.
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