Eclipse Diagrams

Describe, using diagrams, the mechanisms causing solar and lunar eclipses

You are not required to draw the mechanisms to scale but it is important the following elements are remembered:
- Sun & direction of sunlight
- Earth
- Moon
- Cones of shadow
- Area of umbra
- Area of penumbra
- Area of totality (if appropriate)

We suggest you study the diagrams in this section and practise drawing your own diagrams.



Eclipse Trivia

  • Animals are said to behave strangely during a total eclipse, sometimes settling to sleep.
  • Some cultures make noises and play loud drums to scare the Moon away from the Sun.
  • The astronomers to the Chinese Emperor in ancient times were executed because they did not predict an eclipse as they were drunk!


Draw a diagram of a total solar, lunar and annular eclipse. Label the parts of the diagram.

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Keith's Lunar Eclipse Page Lunar Eclipse Facts