Lunar Eclipse 101 | National Geographic

Nicknamed "blood moon," some ancient cultures regarded a total lunar eclipse as an ominous event. Today, this celestial phenomenon generates excitement and wonder. Unlike a solar eclipse, which may require travel to see, total lunar eclipses can often be observed from the entire nighttime-half of the Earth. Learn what causes a lunar eclipse and how it gains its crimson coloring.
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Lunar Eclipse 101 | National Geographic
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A lunar eclipse happens when the earth . blocks some or all of the sun's direct . light from reaching the moon this cosmic . event only takes place during a full . moon which happens once every 29 and a . half days or the length of one full . orbit of the moon around the earth so . why don't we have any clips every month . the moon's orbit is tilted a few degrees . in relation to the earth so the earth . moon and sun don't always align when the . earth does eclipse the sun it casts two . types of shadows on the moon a larger . shadow known as the penumbra and a . smaller darker shadow known as the umbra . there are three types of lunar eclipses . the first is a total lunar eclipse when . the sun moon and earth are in perfect . alignment and the moon falls within the . earth's umbral shadow total lunar . eclipses are the most striking of the . three types because they turn the moon a . sunset red while shorter blue. wavelengths of light are scattered . outward by the earth's atmosphere longer . red wavelengths are refracted or bent . inward toward the moon making it appear . red the brightness of the moon's red . glow depends upon how much dust and . clouds are in the earth's atmosphere . following volcanic activity ash can . block out enough light to render the . moon a darker red or even mere black a . partial lunar eclipse the second type . occurs when the earth moon and sun don't . perfectly align so only part of the moon . passes into earth's umbra earth's shadow . appears very dark on the side of the . moon facing earth . last a penumbral lunar eclipse occurs . when the moon passes through earth's . penumbral shadow the event is so subtle . that most people don't even notice the . moon will appear just slightly darker . than normal . lunar eclipses occur up to three times a . year and can be observed from the entire . night time half of the earth unlike. during a solar eclipse it's safe to look . at the moon with the naked eye . during a lunar eclipse it is only . because of the distances of the sun and . moon from the earth that we are able to . witness total lunar eclipses as the moon . inches away from the earth each year one . day billions of years from now the moon . will be too far away to fall completely . within earth's humble shadow until then . we can occasionally enjoy seeing our own . planet shadow cast upon the largest . object in the night sky . [music]. .
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