Explained: Difference between solar and lunar eclipse, their occurrences and more
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Eclipses, be it solar and lunar, have always fascinated people for centuries. In ancient times, eclipses were seen as something to be feared of, there were many myths surrounding it. However, in recent times, scientists and astronomers use these phenomena to study the natural world. The world is all set to witness a total solar eclipse on July 2. It is the only solar eclipse of the year 2019. For the uninitiated, an eclipse is a phenomenon in which the Earth, Sun, and the Moon are aligned in a straight line, which results in one body being blocked from getting sunlight. In a solar eclipse, the moon blocks the Sun’s path and stops the sunlight from reaching the Earth. During a total solar eclipse, it turns dark during the day and temperature falls. Unfortunately, the Total Solar Eclipse of July 2, 2019, will not be visible in India since it will be night in the country at the time the event will take place. Countries that will witness Total Solar Eclipse are Pitcairn Islands, Central Argentina, Chile and Tuamotu Archipelago.

If you are someone who still gets confused between Solar and Lunar Eclipse, you have landed on the right page.

Difference between Solar and Lunar Eclipse

An eclipse refers to the events involving three celestial bodies – the Sun, the Moon and the Earth. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, blocking a certain portion or the entire Sun. While a lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the Moon and the Sun, and the Earth’s shadow blocks a portion or the entire moon. An eclipse can be total, partial, or annular.

Types of Solar and Lunar Eclipses

Types of solar eclipse

Total Solar Eclipse – A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon covers the bright light of the Sun, allowing a light solar corona to be visible.

Partial Solar Eclipse - A Partial Solar Eclipse occurs when the Moon partially covers the disk of the Sun.

Annular Solar Eclipse – An Annular Solar Eclipse is when the Moon covers the Sun’s center, leaving the Sun’s visible outer edge to form a ring. In simple terms, the Sun appears as a bright ring surrounding the dark disk of the Moon.

Hybrid Solar Eclipse - A Hybrid Solar Eclipse is a rare form of solar eclipse and occurs when there’s a shift between a total and annular solar eclipse. From a certain location, the eclipse occurs as a total eclipse whereas at the other points it appears as annular.

Types of Lunar Eclipse

Total Lunar Eclipse – A Total Lunar Eclipse occurs when the entire Moon enters the Earth’s umbra.

Partial Lunar Eclipse - A Total Lunar Eclipse occurs when only a part of the Moon enters the Earth’s umbra.

Central Lunar Eclipse – A Central Lunar Eclipse is actually a rare phenomenon when the Moon passes through the centre of the Earth’s shadow.

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse – A Penumbral Lunar Eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through Earth’s penumbra.


Solar Eclipse – Solar eclipse occurs during the day.

Lunar Eclipse – Lunar eclipse occurs at night.


Solar Eclipse – Solar eclipses occur two to four times in a year.

Lunar Eclipse –Lunar eclipses occur two to five in a year. Total lunar eclipses are less common.


Solar Eclipse – It is safe to watch a lunar eclipse with naked eyes.

Lunar Eclipse – It is unsafe to watch a solar eclipse with naked eyes. Watching solar eclipse without protection can cause serious damage to eyes.

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