Lunar Eclipse - Aug. 28, 2007

Lunar Eclipse - Aug. 28, 2007 thumbnail


A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth and Moon are totally aligned. During a lunar eclipse, the Earth blocks sunlight from reaching the moon. Lunar eclipses don't happen every time the Moon is full because the orbit of the Moon is inclined 5°. Usually the moon is either north or south of the Earth's shadow. Lunar eclipses happen twice a year generally, though the total lunar eclipses don't happen as often. It is possible for an eclipse to be partial or penumbral. The shadow of the Earth is divided into two parts: the umbra and the penumbra. The umbra is the area where the sun's radiation is totally blocked by the Earth. In the Penumbra, the sun's radiation is only partially blocked. In a penumbral eclipse the moon only enters the penumbra; in a partial eclipse the moon enters the umbra, but not fully. Only in a total eclipse does the moon fully enter the umbra. On August 28, 2007 a total eclipse occurred.

This dataset simulates what the total lunar eclipse of August 2007 looked like. The picture above contains the path of the moon and the exact times of each stage. The whole eclipse lasted one hour and thirty one minutes. When the moon enters the penumbra, the moon is darkened, and then when it enters the umbra it turns a reddish-copper color. The coloration is the result of deflected sunlight through the Earth's atmosphere. For more information on lunar eclipses and to see when the next will occur, check here.

Notable Features

  • The moon enters the penumbra, then the umbra, then the penumbra again
  • The curve in the shadows is the result of the spherical system and should appear as a straight line

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