For Kids: What is an Eclipse?

2_Solar Eclipse.png


What is an eclipse? An eclipse occurs when the moon and the Earth, during their orbits, form a line with the Sun.

Types of Eclipse

We have two types of eclipse – lunar and solar.

  1. Lunar Eclipse


A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth moves between the Sun and the moon, blocking part of the Sun’s light from reaching the moon. When there is lunar eclipse, you will see the Earth’s shadow on the moon.

2. Solar Eclipse

2_Solar Eclipse


In solar eclipse, the Moon passes in front of the Sun causing a shadow to fall on certain portions of the Earth due to partial blockage of the Sun.

Not every place on Earth experiences the eclipse; it is only seen from the locations where the shadow falls. When it occurs, it will appear as if the Sun has gone dark.


(c)Lantern Books

Interesting Facts about Eclipses

  • The word “eclipse” comes from the Greek word “ekleipsis” which means “abandonment” or “downfall.”
  • A total solar eclipse can happen once every 1-2 years.
  • 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.



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