Types of Eclipses: Understanding the Differences

As we gaze up at the sky, we are often mesmerized by the beauty and wonder of celestial phenomena. One such occurrence that has captivated humans for centuries is an eclipse. An eclipse happens when one celestial body moves into the shadow of another.

Today, we’ll delve into the types of eclipses that occur and the differences between them.

Solar Eclipses

A solar eclipse takes place when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, casting a shadow on the Earth’s surface. There are three types of solar eclipses- Total, Partial and Annular.

A Total Solar Eclipse happens when the moon entirely covers the sun, and the corona, or the outermost layer of the sun, becomes visible. This is an awe-inspiring event, and it’s no surprise that people travel from all over the world to witness it.

Images taken with Stellina and its solar filter

A Partial Solar Eclipse occurs when the moon only partially covers the sun. In this scenario, viewers from specific regions of the world will see the sun partially obscured.

An Annular Solar Eclipse is similar to a Total Solar Eclipse, but instead of the corona, a “ring of fire” appears around the moon, which occurs when the moon is farther from the Earth than usual.

If you’re a Vespera or Stellina owner, we highly encourage you to read our article about Sun observations to make sure you’re all settled for the next Solar eclipse in your corner of the world (and don’t forget to purchase your solar filter for Vespera or solar filter for Stellina if you don’t have one).

Lunar Eclipses

A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth comes between the sun and the moon, casting a shadow on the moon’s surface. There are two types of lunar eclipses- Total and Partial.

A Total Lunar Eclipse happens when the moon passes through the Earth’s umbral shadow, causing the moon to appear reddish-orange, which is why it is often referred to as a “Blood Moon.” This is a remarkable event that is well worth staying up late to witness.

A Partial Lunar Eclipse occurs when only a portion of the moon passes through the Earth’s umbral shadow, causing part of the moon to appear darker than usual.

Lunar eclipse captured with Stellina

Understanding the differences between these eclipses is essential for both amateur astronomers and space enthusiasts. It allows them to plan their observations and ensure that they don’t miss out on these awe-inspiring events.

In conclusion, eclipses are a beautiful and awe-inspiring celestial phenomenon that has captured human imagination for centuries. Knowing the types of eclipses and their differences can enhance the viewing experience and provide a deeper understanding of the universe.

Whether it’s a Total Solar Eclipse, a Blood Moon or a Partial Solar Eclipse, these events are not to be missed. So, mark your calendars and get ready to be amazed.

Are you ready for the eclipse occuring in April 2024? Check out our article to find out the best locations to witness this incredible event here!

And in the meantime, if you’re in Australia, be prepared for the total Solar Eclipse occuring on April 20 2023!

If you want to learn more about astronomy and keep up to date with the latest celestial events, be sure to follow our blog. We cover everything from planets and galaxies to space exploration and more.