éclipses solaires et lunaires

Largeur du rectangle visuel
Temps terrestre de la grande eclipse
Nombre de lunaisons
Taille de la pénombre
Umbral magnitude
Durée de la phase pénombre
Durée de la phase partielle
Durée de la phase totale

éclipses solaires


éclipses de lune


éclipse solaire

Description générale

A solar eclipse is a type of eclipse that occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks ("occults") the Sun. This can happen only at new moon, when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth in an alignment referred to as syzygy. In a total eclipse, the disk of the Sun is fully obscured by the Moon. In partial and annular eclipses, only part of the Sun is obscured.

If the Moon were in a perfectly circular orbit, a little closer to the Earth, and in the same orbital plane, there would be total solar eclipses every month. However, the Moon's orbit is inclined (tilted) at more than 5 degrees to the Earth's orbit around the Sun (see ecliptic), so its shadow at new moon usually misses Earth. Earth's orbit is called the ecliptic plane as the Moon's orbit must cross this plane in order for an eclipse (both solar as well as lunar) to occur. In addition, the Moon's actual orbit is elliptical, often taking it far enough away from Earth that its apparent size is not large enough to block the Sun totally. The orbital planes cross each other at a line of nodes resulting in at least two, and up to five, solar eclipses occurring each year; no more than two of which can be total eclipses. However, total solar eclipses are rare at any particular location because totality exists only along a narrow path on the Earth's surface traced by the Moon's shadow or umbra.

An eclipse is a natural phenomenon. Nevertheless, in some ancient and modern cultures, solar eclipses have been attributed to supernatural causes or regarded as bad omens. A total solar eclipse can be frightening to people who are unaware of its astronomical explanation, as the Sun seems to disappear during the day and the sky darkens in a matter of minutes.

Since looking directly at the Sun can lead to permanent eye damage or blindness, special eye protection or indirect viewing techniques are used when viewing a solar eclipse. It is technically safe to view only the total phase of a total solar eclipse with the unaided eye and without protection; however, this is a dangerous practice, as most people are not trained to recognize the phases of an eclipse, which can span over two hours while the total phase can only last up to 7.5 minutes for any one location. People referred to as eclipse chasers or umbraphiles will travel to remote locations to observe or witness predicted central solar eclipses.



  • Total
    occurs when the dark silhouette of the Moon completely obscures the intensely bright light of the Sun, allowing the much fainter solar corona to be visible. During any one eclipse, totality occurs at best only in a narrow track on the surface of Earth.
  • Partial
    occurs when the Sun and Moon are not exactly in line and the Moon only partially obscures the Sun. This phenomenon can usually be seen from a large part of the Earth outside of the track of an annular or total eclipse. However, some eclipses can only be seen as a partial eclipse, because the umbra passes above the Earth's polar regions and never intersects the Earth's surface. Partial eclipses are virtually unnoticeable, as it takes well over 90% coverage to notice any darkening at all. Even at 99% it would be no darker than civil twilight.
  • Annular
    occurs when the Sun and Moon are exactly in line, but the apparent size of the Moon is smaller than that of the Sun. Hence the Sun appears as a very bright ring, or annulus, surrounding the dark disk of the Moon.
  • Hybrid
    shifts between a total and annular eclipse. At certain points on the surface of Earth it appears as a total eclipse, whereas at other points it appears as annular. Hybrid eclipses are comparatively rare.


The following factors determine the duration of a total solar eclipse (in order of decreasing importance):
  1. The moon being almost exactly at perigee (making its angular diameter as large as possible).
  2. The earth being very near aphelion (furthest away from the sun in its elliptical orbit, making its angular diameter nearly as small as possible).
  3. The midpoint of the eclipse being very close to the earth's equator, where the orbital velocity is greatest.
  4. The vector of the eclipse path at the midpoint of the eclipse aligning with the vector of the earth's rotation (i.e. not diagonal but due east).
  5. The midpoint of the eclipse being near the subsolar point (the part of the earth closest to the sun).

Largeur du rectangle visuel

During a central eclipse, the Moon's umbra (or antumbra, in the case of an annular eclipse) moves rapidly from west to east across the Earth. The Earth is also rotating from west to east, at about 28 km/min at the Equator, but as the Moon is moving in the same direction as the Earth's spin at about 61 km/min, the umbra almost always appears to move in a roughly west-east direction across a map of the Earth at the speed of the Moon's orbital velocity minus the Earth's rotational velocity.

The width of the track of a central eclipse varies according to the relative apparent diameters of the Sun and Moon. In the most favourable circumstances, when a total eclipse occurs very close to perigee, the track can be up to 267 km (166 mi) wide and the duration of totality may be over 7 minutes.[24] Outside of the central track, a partial eclipse is seen over a much larger area of the Earth. Typically, the umbra is 100–160 km wide, while the penumbral diameter is in excess of 6400 km.


An azimuth in general is an angular measurement in a spherical coordinate system. The vector from an observer (origin) to a point of interest is projected perpendicularly onto a reference plane; the angle between the projected vector and a reference vector on the reference plane is called the azimuth.

The solar azimuth angle is the azimuth angle of the sun. It defines in which direction the sun is and the value shown for each eclipse gives Sun's azimuth at greatest eclipse. It is traditionally defined as the angle between a line due south and the shadow cast by a vertical rod on Earth. This convention states the angle is positive if the line is east of south and negative if it is west of south. However, despite tradition, the most commonly accepted convention for analyzing solar irradiation, e.g. for solar energy applications, is clockwise from due north, so east is 90°, south is 180° and west is 270°.


The solar elevation angle is the altitude of the sun, the angle between the horizon and the centre of the sun's disc. The value shown for each eclipse gives Sun's altitude at greatest eclipse.


Gamma (denoted as γ) of an eclipse describes how centrally the shadow of the Moon or Earth strikes the other. The distance, when the axis of the shadow cone passes closest to Earth or Moon's center, is stated as a fraction of the equatorial radius of the Earth. The sign of gamma defines, for a solar eclipse, if the axis of the shadow passes north or south of the center of the Earth; a positive value means north. For solar eclipses the Earth is defined as that half which is exposed to the Sun (this changes with the seasons and is not related directly to the Earth's poles or equator, thus the Earth's center is wherever the Sun is directly overhead).

The absolute value of gamma allows us to distinguish different kinds of solar eclipses:
  • if gamma is 0 the axis of the shadow cone is exactly between the northern and southern halves of the sunlit side of the Earth when it passes over the center.
  • if gamma is lower than 0.9972, the eclipse is central. The axis of the shadow cone strikes the Earth and there are locations on Earth, where the Moon can be seen central in front of the Sun. Central eclipses can be total or annular (if the tip of the umbra reaches surface of Earth barely reaches earth the type can change during the eclipse from annular to total and vice versa, this is called a hybrid eclipse).
  • if gamma constitutes between 0.9972 and 1.0260 the axis of the shadow cone misses Earth, but because of the umbra or antumbra has a certain width in some circumstances a part of the umbra or antumbra can touch Earth in polar regions. The result is a non central total or annular eclipse.
  • if gamma is between 0.9972 and approximately 1.55 and the special circumstances mentioned above do not occur the eclipse is partial, the Earth traverses only the penumbra.
If the Earth were a sphere, the limit for a central eclipse would be 1.0, but because of the oblateness of the Earth it is 0.9972.


The saros is a period of approximately 223 synodic months (approximately 6585.3211 days, or 18 years and 11 days and 8h), that can be used to predict eclipses of the Sun and Moon. One saros period after an eclipse, the Sun, Earth, and Moon return to approximately the same relative geometry, a near straight line, and a nearly identical eclipse will occur, in what is referred to as an eclipse cycle.

A series of eclipses that are separated by one saros is called a saros series. Each saros series starts with a partial eclipse (Sun first enters the end of the node), and each successive saros the path of the Moon is shifted either northward (when near the descending node) or southward (when near the ascending node) due to the fact that the saros is not an exact integer of draconic months (about one hour short). At some point, eclipses are no longer possible and the series terminates (Sun leaves the beginning of the node). Arbitrary dates were established by compilers of eclipse statistics. These extreme dates are 2000 BCE and 3000 CE. Saros series, of course, went on before and will continue after these dates. Since the first eclipse of 2000 BCE was not the first in its saros, it is necessary to extend the saros series numbers backwards beyond 0 to negative numbers to accommodate eclipses occurring in the years following 2000 BCE. The saros -13 is the first saros to appear in these data. For solar eclipses the statistics for the complete saros series within the era between 2000 BCE and 3000 CE are given in this article's references. It takes between 1226 and 1550 years for the members of a saros series to traverse the Earth's surface from north to south (or vice versa). These extremes allow from 69 to 87 eclipses in each series (most series have 71 or 72 eclipses). From 39 to 59 (mostly about 43) eclipses in a given series will be central (that is, total, annular, or hybrid annular-total). At any given time, approximately 40 different saros series will be in progress.

Saros series are numbered according to the type of eclipse (solar or lunar) and whether they occur at the Moon's ascending or descending node. Odd numbers are used for solar eclipses occurring near the ascending node, whereas even numbers are given to descending node solar eclipses. For lunar eclipses, this numbering scheme is somewhat random. The ordering of these series is determined by the time at which each series peaks, which corresponds to when an eclipse is closest to one of the lunar nodes. For solar eclipses, the 40 series numbered between 117 and 156 are active, whereas for lunar eclipses, there are now 41 active saros series.


Latitude and longitude where greatest eclipse is seen.

Statistiques (2000BC - 3000AC)


Nombre total 11 898
  Nombre total 3173 (26.7 %)
  Nombre d'annulaire 3956 (33.2 %)
  Nombre de partielle 4200 (35.3 %)
  Nombre d'hynride 569 (4.8 %)
Moyenne par an 2.38
Maximum par an 5
(-1852, -1805, -1787, -1740, -1675, -1154, -1089, -568, -503, -438, -373, 18, 83, 148, 604, 669, 734, 1255, 1805, 1935, 2206, 2709, 2774, 2839, 2904)
Minimum par an 2
Actuel 743 s
  La plus longue totale 449 s
  éclipse lunaire la plus longue 743 s
  La plus longue éclipse hybride 108 s
Largest partial magnitude 0.99984
Petite éclipse partielle magnitude 0.00002
Durée moyenne 155 s
Max largeur du rectangle visuel 1419 km (881.7 mi)
Moyenne largeur du rectangle visuel 133 km (82.6 mi)

Ventilation par Millenia

Total -1999 à -1000 -999 à 0 1 à 1000 1001 à 2000 2001 à 3000
Nombre total 11 898 2401 2373 2351 2385 2388
  Nombre total 3173 (26.7 %) 633 (26.4 %) 622 (26.2 %) 652 (27.7 %) 616 (25.8 %) 650 (27.2 %)
  Nombre d'annulaire 3956 (33.2 %) 782 (32.6 %) 764 (32.2 %) 809 (34.4 %) 767 (32.2 %) 834 (34.9 %)
  Nombre de partielle 4200 (35.3 %) 843 (35.1 %) 857 (36.1 %) 816 (34.7 %) 837 (35.1 %) 847 (35.5 %)
  Nombre d'hynride 569 (4.8 %) 143 (6.0 %) 130 (5.5 %) 74 (3.1 %) 165 (6.9 %) 57 (2.4 %)
Moyenne par an 2.38 2.40 2.37 2.35 2.39 2.39
Maximum par an 5
5 5 5 5 5
Plus longue 743 s
727 s
728 s (-177) 743 s (150) 729 s
668 s
Durée moyenne 155 s 156 s 153 s 156 s 155 s 156 s
Max largeur du rectangle visuel 1419 km (881.7 mi)
1258 km (781.7 mi)
1300 km (807.8 mi)
1318 km (819.0 mi)
1419 km (881.7 mi)
1130 km (702.1 mi)
Moyenne largeur du rectangle visuel 133 km (82.6 mi) 134 km (83.3 mi) 132 km (82.1 mi) 133 km (82.5 mi) 133 km (82.8 mi) 132 km (82.2 mi)


  • depending on the geometry of the Sun, Moon, and Earth, there can be between 2 and 5 solar eclipses each year.

  • at the North or South Pole, you can see only partial solar eclipses. In other parts of the world you can see partial, total, annular, and hybrid eclipses.

  • the longest a total solar eclipse can last is 7 minutes 40 seconds.

  • the maximum time for an annular solar eclipse is 12 minutes 24 seconds.

  • if any planets are in the sky at the time of a total solar eclipse, they can be seen as points of light.

  • solar eclipses can only occur during a new moon.

  • a solar eclipse always occurs two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse.

  • at any geographic position on the Earth, a total solar eclipse occurs on average once every 360 years.

  • after a total solar eclipse, it takes about an hour before total day light is restored.

  • the Moon is slowly drifting away from Earth, so in about a million years a solar eclipse will not even be noticeable.

  • during a total solar eclipse, some animals tend to act confused or prepare for sleep.

  • a total solar eclipse causes a decrease in temperature of up to 20 degrees.

  • in ancient times, people thought an eclipse was a sign that the gods were angry or that bad things were about to happen.

  • the corona, the outer atmosphere of the sun, can only be seen during a total solar eclipse.

  • people referred to as eclipse chasers or umbraphiles will travel to remote locations to observe or witness predicted central solar eclipses.

  • due to tidal acceleration, the orbit of the Moon around the Earth becomes about 2.2 cm more distant each year.

  • the Sun is increasing in diameter by about 5% per billion years. Therefore, the last total solar eclipse on Earth will occur about six hundred million years from now.

  • historical eclipses are a very valuable resource for historians, in that they allow a few historical events to be dated precisely, from which other dates and ancient calendars may be deduced.

  • under normal conditions, the Sun is so bright that it is difficult to stare at it directly. However, during an eclipse, with so much of the Sun covered, it is easier and more tempting to stare at it. Looking at the Sun during an eclipse is as dangerous as looking at it outside an eclipse, except during the brief period of totality, when the Sun's disk is completely covered.

  • when the shrinking visible part of the photosphere becomes very small, Baily's beads will occur. These are caused by the sunlight still being able to reach the Earth through lunar valleys. Totality then begins with the diamond ring effect, the last bright flash of sunlight.

  • a total solar eclipse is not noticeable until the Sun is covered 90% by the Moon. When the Moon covers the Sun by 99% the sky resembles twilight.

  • Canadian astronomer and renowned eclipse chaser J. W. Campbell traveled the world for 50 years trying to see 12 different eclipses. He ran into overcast skies every time.

éclipse de lune

Description générale

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly behind the Earth into its umbra (shadow). This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned (in "syzygy") exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle. Hence, a lunar eclipse can only occur the night of a full moon. The type and length of an eclipse depend upon the Moon's location relative to its orbital nodes.

Unlike a solar eclipse, which can only be viewed from a certain relatively small area of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of the Earth. A lunar eclipse lasts for a few hours, whereas a total solar eclipse lasts for only a few minutes at any given place, due to the smaller size of the Moon's shadow. Also unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to view without any eye protection or special precautions, as they are dimmer than the full Moon.

The umbra is the portion of the Earth's shadow that does not contain any direct radiation from the Sun. Likewise, the penumbra is the region of space where the Earth is only partially blocking the light from the Sun.

In order to classify what kind of lunar eclipse is occurring a scale known as the Danjon scale was developed by André-Louis Danjon.

  • L=0 - the darkest eclipse, one most people imagine when they think of a lunar eclipse.
  • L=1 - while still very dark, there is a grey or brown hue to the Moon. However, details of the Moon are still difficult to identify.
  • L=2 - the Moon will appear dark red, possibly with a slight hint of orange. The Moon still appears very dark at this value.
  • L=3 - the Moon is brick-red and noticeably lighter than L=2. Also, the edges can appear lighter, possibly with a yellowish hue.
  • L=4 - the Moon appears bright red or orange, while the edge of the Moon appears almost bluish

The timing of total lunar eclipses are determined by its contacts.

  • P1 (First contact)
    Beginning of the penumbral eclipse. The Earth's penumbra touches the Moon's outer limb.
  • U1 (Second contact)
    Beginning of the partial eclipse. The Earth's umbra touches the Moon's outer limb.
  • U2 (Third contact)
    Beginning of the total eclipse. The Moon's surface is entirely within the Earth's umbra.
  • Greatest eclipse
    The peak stage of the total eclipse. The Moon is at its closest to the center of the Earth's umbra.
  • U3 (Fourth contact)
    End of the total eclipse. The Moon's outer limb exits the Earth's umbra.
  • U4 (Fifth contact)
    End of the partial eclipse. The Earth's umbra leaves the Moon's surface.
  • P4 (Sixth contact)
    End of the penumbral eclipse. The Earth's penumbra no longer makes contact with the Moon.



  • Total
    the Earth's umbra – the central, dark part of its shadow – obscures all of the Moon's visible surface.
  • Partial
    only part of the Moon's visible surface is obscured by the Earth’s umbra.
  • Penumbral
    the Moon travels through the faint penumbral portion of the Earth’s shadow.

Nombre de lunaisons

A number given to each lunation beginning from a certain one in history. Several conventions are in use.

The most commonly used is the Brown Lunation Number (BLN), which defines lunation 1 as beginning at the first new moon of 1923, the year when Ernest William Brown's lunar theory was introduced in the major national astronomical almanacs. Lunation 1 occurred at approximately 02:41 UTC, January 17, 1923. New moons occur on Julian Dates.

2449128.59 + 29.53058867 * (BLN - 871) +/- 0.25

with the given uncertainty due to varying torques from the Sun

Temps dynamique (TD)

Dynamical Time (TD) of Greatest Eclipse, the instant when the distance between the center of the Moon and the axis or Earth's umbral shadow cone reaches a minimum.

TD was introduced by the IAU in 1979 as the coordinate time scale for an observer on the surface of Earth. It takes into account relativistic effects and is based on International Atomic Time (TAI), which is a high-precision standard using several hundred atomic clocks worldwide. As such, TD is the atomic time equivalent to its predecessor ET and is used in the theories of motion for bodies in the solar system. To ensure continuity with ET, TD was defined to match ET for the date 1977 Jan 01. In 1991, the IAU refined the definition of TD to make it more precise. It was also renamed Terrestrial Time (TT), although on this Web site, the older name Terrestrial Dynamical Time is preferred and used.


A period of approximately 223 synodic months (approximately 6585.3211 days, or 18 years and 11 days and 8h), that can be used to predict eclipses of the Sun and Moon. One saros period after an eclipse, the Sun, Earth, and Moon return to approximately the same relative geometry, a near straight line, and a nearly identical eclipse will occur, in what is referred to as an eclipse cycle. A sar is one half of a saros.

For a lunar eclipse to occur, the Earth must be located between the Sun and Moon. This can happen only when the Moon is full, and repeat occurrences of these lunar phases result from solar and lunar orbits producing the Moon's synodic period of 29.53059 days.

During most full and new moons, however, the shadow of the Earth or Moon falls to the north or south of the other body. Eclipses occur when the three bodies form a nearly straight line.

After one saros, the Moon will have completed roughly an integer number of lunar orbit cycles and synodic, draconic, and anomalistic periods (241, 223, 242, and 239) and the Earth-Sun-Moon geometry will be nearly identical: the Moon will have the same phase and be at the same node and the same distance from the Earth. In addition, because the saros is close to 18 years in length (about 11 days longer), the earth will be nearly the same distance from the sun, and tilted to it in nearly the same orientation.


Gamma (denoted as γ) of an eclipse describes how centrally the shadow of the Moon or Earth strikes the other. The distance, when the axis of the shadow cone passes closest to Earth or Moon's center, is stated as a fraction of the equatorial radius of the Earth.

The sign of gamma defines for a lunar eclipse whether the axis of the Earth's shadow passes north or south of the Moon; a positive value means south.


The magnitude of an eclipse is the fraction of the diameter of the eclipsed body which is in eclipse. During a lunar eclipse, the eclipsed body is the Moon and the eclipsing 'body' is the Earth's shadow. Since the Earth's shadow at the Moon's distance always is considerably larger than the Moon, a lunar eclipse can never be annular but is always partial or total. The Earth's shadow has two components: the dark umbra and the much brighter penumbra. A lunar eclipse will have two geometric magnitudes: the umbral magnitude and the penumbral magnitude. If the maximum value of the umbral magnitude is negative, the Moon doesn't reach into the Earth's umbra - it may still pass through the Earth's penumbra though, and such an eclipse is called a penumbral eclipse.


Penumbral magnitude is the fraction of the Moon's diameter immersed in the penumbra at the instant of greatest eclipse (equal to the distance measured from the edge of the penumbral shadow to the edge of the Moon deepest in the penumbra).


Umbral magnitude is the fraction of the Moon's diameter immersed in the umbra at the instant of greatest eclipse (equal to the distance measured from the edge of the umbral shadow to the edge of the Moon deepest in the umbra).


Penumbral Eclipse Phase Duration

The time interval between first and last contact of the Moon with the penumbral shadow (= P4 - P1).

Parial Eclipse Phase Duration

The time interval between first and last contact of the Moon with the umbral shadow (= U4 - U1).

Total Eclipse Phase Duration

The time interval between second and third contact of the Moon with the umbral shadow (= U3 - U2).

Statistiques (2000BC - 3000AC)

Statistiques globales

Nombre total 12 064
  Nombre total 3479 (28.8 %)
  Nombre de penombrale 4378 (36.3 %)
  Nombre de partielle 4207 (34.9 %)
Moyenne par an 2.41
Maximum par an 5
Minimum par an 2
Plus longue 296.5 min
  La plus longue totale 106.6 min
  éclipse lunaire partielle la plus longue 210.0 min
  Longest penumbral 296.5 min

Ventilation par Millenia

Total -1999 à -1000 -999 à 0 1 à 1000 1001 à 2000 2001 à 3000
Nombre total 12064 2431 2392 2396 2431 2414
  Nombre total 3479 (28.8 %) 672 (27.6 %) 722 (30.2 %) 709 (29.6 %) 682 (28.1 %) 694 (28.7 %)
  Nombre de penombrale 4378 (36.3 %) 900 (37.0 %) 858 (35.9 %) 858 (35.8 %) 885 (36.4 %) 877 (36.3 %)
  Nombre de partielle 4207 (34.9 %) 859 (35.3 %) 812 (33.9 %) 829 (34.6 %) 864 (35.5 %) 843 (34.9 %)
Moyenne par an 2.41 2.43 2.39 2.40 2.43 2.41
Maximum par an 5 5 5 5 5 5
La plus longue totale 106.6 min
106.5 min
106.2 min
106.6 min
106.5 min
106.2 min


  • lunar eclipses can only occur during a full moon.

  • some lunar eclipse can last up to 3 hour and 45 minutes.

  • the appearance or darkness of the Moon varies during a total lunar eclipse due to the variation in the composition of Earth's atmosphere.

  • the Danjon Scale is a scale used to describe the darkness of a total lunar eclipse. It has 5 points that range from 0 (Moon appears almost invisible) to 4 (very bright yellowish orange).

  • it is not dangerous to look directly at the Moon during a lunar eclipse because the Moon is not giving off its own light.

  • in ancient times, a total lunar eclipse or disappearance of the Moon meant that the gods were angry with the people.

  • full moon almost always appears a coppery shade of red during a total lunar eclipse because of the sunlight that is filtered and refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere.

  • in many cultures the belief exists that full moons and lunar eclipses have some kind of impact of human feelings and behavior. Given that full moons do impact the tides, and the human body is at least 70% water, maybe it makes sense that lunar eclipses could have some impact on women’s menstrual cycles or on the body’s circadian rhythm. The scientific evidence has been relatively inconclusive. However from a psychological perspective, the belief that a lunar eclipse may impact your behavior might actually create this reality.

  • astrologically, lunar eclipses are believed to be auspicious times for growth, release and new beginnings.

  • lunar eclipses are visible over an entire hemisphere. A lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of the Earth.

  • Moon's speed through the shadow is about one kilometer per second. So, totality of eclipse may last up to nearly 107 minutes and maximum of 3 hours and 40 minutes.

  • the Egyptians had a myth that the eclipse is a sow swallowing the moon for a short time.

  • the Incans believed that lunar eclipses were when a jaguar would eat the Moon, which is why a blood moons look red. The Incans also believed that once the jaguar finished eating the Moon, it could come down and devour all the animals on Earth, so they would take spears and shout at the Moon to keep it away.

  • the ancient Mesopotamians believed that a lunar eclipse was when the Moon was being attacked by seven demons. They linked what happened in the sky with what happens on the land, and because the king of Mesopotamia represented the land, the seven demons were thought to be also attacking the king. In order to prevent this attack on the king, the Mesopotamians made someone pretend to be the king so they would be attacked instead of the true king. After the lunar eclipse was over, the substitute king was made to disappear (possibly by poisoning).

  • in some Chinese cultures, people would ring bells to prevent a dragon or other wild animals from biting the Moon. The Chinese word for solar eclipse is shih, meaning "to eat".

  • the Greeks were ahead of their time when they said the Earth was round and used the shadow from the Lunar Eclipse as evidence.

  • due to its reddish color, a totally eclipsed Moon is sometimes referred to as a "blood moon".

  • Jupiter can have a triple eclipse, in which three moons cast shadows on the planet simultaneously.

  • Christopher Columbus, in an effort to induce the natives of Jamaica to continue provisioning him and his hungry men, successfully intimidated the natives by correctly predicting a total lunar eclipse for March 1, 1504.

Data source and info adapted from: NASA, Wikipedia, timanddate.com, Britannica, AstronomyNow, BBC.com, Scientific American


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