A lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes through the shadow cast by the Earth. The stages of a lunar eclipse are pictured above, from when the moon is bright, bouncing the sunlight reflected off the Earth, to near-total darkness as the moon passes in the Earth's shadow, to the red-colored end phases. Lunar eclipses are much more common, and last much longer, than solar eclipses.

Photograph by Karen Jack, MyShot
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eclipse Encyclopedic Entry

Best For
3 - 12 and up

Earth science, Physics, Geography

Appropriate For

  • Educators
  • Families
  • Students

Encyclopedic entry. Every now and then, a planet or moves into the shadow of another one. We call this an eclipse.