MIKKEL JUUL JENSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MIKKEL JUUL JENSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Total lunar eclipse geometry, illustration. Total lunar eclipses occur when the Earth moves completely between the Sun and the Moon. The lines in this diagram show the shadow (umbra, dark grey) cast by the Earth, with the partial shadow (penunmbra) shown in light grey. A partial lunar eclipse is seen when the Moon passes through the Earth's penumbra. A lunar eclipse can only occur during a Full Moon. A lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of Earth, and a total lunar eclipse lasts a few hours. There are around two to three lunar eclipses a year, though less than half of them are total lunar eclipses. Distances shown here are not to scale. Unlabelled versions: C038/3819 to C038/3821.
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