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The geometrical construction of eclipses

The geometrical construction of eclipses

V700/0499

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Credit

ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

The geometrical construction of eclipses. Historical geometric diagram showing the mechanisms behind the occurrence of solar and lunar eclipses. Fig. I (bottom) shows the path of the moon and the relative size of its shadow (shaded) across the Earth during a solar eclipse on 1st April 1764. Fig. II shows the trigonometry of the moon’s path. Fig. III (top left) shows the position of the moon (small circle) when it can (white) and cannot (shaded) be seen, as it passes into the Earth's shadow, during a lunar eclipse on 18th May 1761. This diagram is taken from Astronomy explained upon sir Isaac Newton's Principles, published by James Ferguson (1710-1776) in 1756.

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