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Lunar Eclipses

The alignment of the Sun, Moon and Earth leads to a lunar eclipse; what happens during one.

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Eclipse Myths

Eclipse Myths


Credit: Lucien Rudaux
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eclipse_from_moon.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

From the surface of the moon, a lunar eclipse would look like Earth blocking the Sun. The surface of the moon would appear red.

Why it Matters

Credit: Tomruen
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Moon_phase_calendar_May2005.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Moon phase calendar from May-June 2005 [Figure2]

  • The moon looks different every night due to its different phases. The phases repeat about once per month.
  • Lunar eclipses occur much less frequently; they are spectacular when they do occur.
  • The moon turns blood red during the eclipse.

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With the links below, learn more about lunar eclipses. Then answer the following questions.

  1. About how often does a lunar eclipse happen and why?
  2. What are the stages of an eclipse and how much light is blocked?
  3. In Chinese mythology, what causes a lunar eclipse?
  4. How did the Chinese stop this from happening?
  5. How did Columbus use a lunar eclipse to his advantage?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Lucien Rudaux; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eclipse_from_moon.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Tomruen; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Moon_phase_calendar_May2005.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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