Eclipse Glasses & What Causes Solar Eclipse

Eclipses of the Sun and Moon are impressive events that bring thousands of people to look to the sky with Eclipse Glasses to protect the eyes. Many people of all ages are interested in astrology and own powerful telescopes to study the skies. People often become interested in astrology due to science field trips during elementary school.

What Causes An Eclipse?

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes into the shadow of the Earth. The Moon must be on the side of the Earth opposite the Sun for this to happen. The face of the Moon is entirely illuminated by the Sun. A lunar eclipse can only occur when there is a full Moon. Not every full Moon results in an eclipse, since the orbit of the Moon lies in a plane angled about five degrees to the ecliptic plane. This contains Earth’s orbit around the Sun where the Earth and Sun are located. Unless the full Moon occurs just as the Moon is crossing the ecliptic plane, Earth’s shadow will miss it entirely resulting in no eclipse to observe.

A lunar eclipse is visible from all points on Earth where the Moon is above the horizon, but may be partial or total. During a total lunar eclipse, the entire Moon passes through the Earth’s umbra, which is the total shadow in which Earth blocks light coming from all parts of the Sun. The previously bright full Moon darkens to a dull, reddish glow, illuminated only by indirect light that has been scattered by Earth’s upper atmosphere. Some areas of the Moon may seem less illuminated than others.