Solar and lunar eclipse – Differentiator

Solar eclipses and lunar eclipses are natural phenomena that we can see on Earth. The eclipse of the Sun occurs when the Moon crosses and hides part of the Sun that we see on Earth. In the lunar eclipse it is the Earth that crosses and hides the Moon.

In both cases there is a “disappearance” of one of the stars by the shadow of another when they are aligned.

Eclipses occur because the Moon moves around the Earth and the Earth, in turn, moves around the Sun.

Lunar eclipse Solar eclipse
Definition Concealment of the visible part of the Moon when the Earth crosses between the Sun and the Moon. Hiding from the Sun when the Moon crosses between the Earth and the Sun.
Type of eclipse
  • Total eclipse
  • Partial eclipse
  • Total eclipse
  • Partial eclipse
  • Annular eclipse
  • Hybrid eclipse
Observation It is safe to watch a lunar eclipse while not driving a vehicle. Use special equipment to protect the eyes from direct sunlight.
Upcoming events
  • May 16, 2022
  • November 8, 2022
  • March 14, 2025
  • September 7, 2025
  • December 4, 2021
  • April 30, 2022
  • October 25, 2022
  • April 20, 2023
  • October 14, 2023

Lunar eclipse

how the lunar eclipse is formed

The lunar eclipse is the phenomenon that occurs when the Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon, preventing the light of the Sun from being reflected on the satellite.

This can only happen when the Moon is in its full moon phase. That is, when we see the moon fully lit up, it suddenly begins to darken.

However, lunar eclipses do not occur in all lunar cycles, as the orbit that describes the Moon around the Earth has a slight tilt.

Depending on the part of the Earth’s shadow that falls on the Moon, we can distinguish:

  • Total eclipse: the shadow of the Earth covers the whole moon.
  • Partial eclipse: the shadow of the Earth passes only through a part of the Moon.

steps of the eclipsed moon

The next total lunar eclipses will occur on the following dates:

  • May 16, 2022: Visible in America.
  • November 8, 2022: Visible in Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Ocean.
  • March 14, 2025: Visible in America, Africa, and part of Australia.
  • September 7, 2025: Visible in Europe, Asia, and Australia.

You may also be interested in see Phases of the Moon.

Solar eclipse

how the solar eclipse is formed

The solar eclipse is the phenomenon that occurs when the Sun hides during the day because the moon crosses between it and the Earth. This causes the shadow of the moon to be projected onto a part of the Earth, causing people in this region to stop seeing the illuminated Sun.

They occur when the Moon is in the new moon phase. At least two solar eclipses occur each year

To be able to observe a solar eclipse you need to use special lenses or binoculars. Never look directly at the Sun! Doing so can damage your vision.

Four types of solar eclipse can be distinguished:

  • Total eclipse: It is observed in those places where the darkest inner shadow of the Moon falls (the shadow).
  • Partial eclipse: it is observed in those places where the penumbra of the Moon falls, is the less dark part of the shade.
  • Annular eclipse: observed when the Moon is farthest from the Earth, so the shadow does not reach the Earth. A bright ring is seen around the Moon, because it does not completely cover the Sun.
  • Hybrid eclipse: observed when a total eclipse and a null eclipse are combined.

solar eclipses: partial, total, annular and in the shape of a diamond ring

The next solar eclipses will be:

  • December 4, 2021: Fully visible in Antarctica and partially visible in South Africa.
  • April 30, 2022: Partially visible in Chile, Argentina, and part of the Pacific.
  • October 25, 2022: Partly visible in most of Europe, North Africa, and West Asia.
  • April 20, 2023: Partly visible in Australia, Indonesia, and the Pacific.
  • October 14, 2023: Visible as an annular eclipse in the US, Mexico, Panama, Colombia and Brazil.

You may also be interested in:


Bakich, ME (2021) Solar eclipse 2021: Prepare for “ring of fire” on June 10. Astronomy. June 2021.

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