Honors Physics Essay

869 words - 4 pages

Astronomy Project

A Lunar Eclipse is an eclipse in which the full moon passes partially or wholly through the umbra of the earth's shadow (Merriam-Webster, 2012). When this happens, the moon appears darker as it passes into the earth's shadow. One thing that I found interesting is that there are different types of eclipses. When I first read more information on the lunar eclipse I was confused about what those differences are. I found out that during the five thousand year period from 2000 BCE through 3000 CE, there are 7,718 eclipses (both partial and total) of the Moon (Espenak). The two types of eclipses are the lunar eclipse and the solar eclipse. A solar eclipse can only be viewed ...view middle of the document...

In this case, the Sun and the Moon are on opposite sides of the Earth (Brewer). I look forward to experiencing the next lunar eclipse on June 4, 2012. It will be a partial lunar eclipse and it is supposed to last for about 2 hours and seven minutes. Then there is going to be a penumbral lunar eclipse on November 28, 2012. Unless we are able to travel to the West Coast, Europe, East Africa, Asia, Australia or the Pacific – we won’t be able to see that one. All total eclipses start with a penumbral followed by a partial eclipse, and end with a partial followed by a penumbral eclipse (the total eclipse is sandwiched in the middle) (Brewer). I also learned from MrEclipse.com that the Moon is a cold, rocky body about 2,160 miles (3,476 km) in diameter. The moon has no light of its own but shines by sunlight reflected from its surface. It normally looks kind of red or reddish orange during a lunar eclipse.
I also found that the largest number of solar and lunar eclipses combined that can happen in a one year period is seven. Since that means that there are only about 70 eclipses in a century, most people will get to see maybe one eclipse in their life. I think that they’d be lucky to experience more than one. But if you are a traveler, your chances of catching more than one may be a little...

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