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Moving Image

An eclipse of the Moon

The phases of the Moon and lunar eclipses occur due to the Moon's orbit of Earth, and its position in relation to both the Earth and the Sun. Watch this animation showing a model of the Moon's orbit, its phases and a lunar eclipse. Discover what a total lunar eclipse is and what causes the red colour of a 'blood moon'.

Image

Total lunar eclipse

This is an overlapping slightly tilted (lower at left) and linear series of colour exposures of the full Moon at night during a total lunar eclipse. The nine symmetrically timed images clearly outline a circular dark central region about 2.5 Moon diameters wide, encompassing three coppery-red full Moon discs. The central ...