Eclipse Facts



  • An eclipse is when the light from a star such as the Sun is temporarily blocked off by another space object.
  • A lunar eclipse is when the Moon travels behind the Earth, and into the Earth’s shadow (Earth is between the Moon and the Sun).
  • Lunar eclipses happen once or twice every year and last only a few hours.
  • In a total lunar eclipse, the Moon turns rust-red.
  • A solar eclipse is when the Moon comes between the Sun and the Earth, casting a shadow a few kilometers wide on to the Earth’s surface.
  • In a total eclipse of the Sun, the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun, completely covering it so that only its corona can be seen (see the Sun).
  • There are one or two solar eclipses every year, but they are visible only from a narrow strip of the world.
  • There will be total solar eclipses on 21 from southern Africa.
  • This means the Sun and the sky is 400 times smaller than the Earth.
  • Today people are advised never to look up at the sun permanently during an eclipse or they may damage their eyes.