What Eclipses Tell Us

Vanity Press News By Vanity Press News, 30th Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Science>Astronomy

A close look at Lunar eclipses and how they appear. A look at what Solar and Lunar eclipses has shown us throughout the years and what they tell us.

A Look at Lunar Eclipses

Lunar Eclipses take place only during a full moon, but they do not occur every full moon. This is because the path of the moon around the Earth varies about 6 degrees from the path of the Earth around the sun. Because of this difference, the moon frequently passes either above or below the Earth’s shadow, and escapes being eclipsed. A total lunar eclipse may last an hour and 40 minutes. The greatest number of lunar eclipses that can occur in one year is three.

Actually, the moon may not completely disappear from sight during a total eclipse. Sometimes it becomes copper colored, because the sun’s light strikes the atmosphere and refracts into the shadow of the Earth that covers the moon. If the atmosphere near the Earth is exceptionally cloudy, it may absorb the light rays, and the moon will disappear completely from sight.

What Eclipses Tell Us

Astronomers can make certain studies only during solar eclipses. Years ago, for example, some astronomers thought that a small planet might exist between Mercury and the sun, but they needed an eclipse to test their beliefs. Investigations during an eclipse showed that there was no such planet.

Albert Einstein developed an important theory about the effect of gravitation on light. He predicted that gravitational interaction caused light from stars beyond the sun to deviate or swerve from a straight path as it passed the sun. A deviation would cause an apparent change in the position of the stars that are observable near the sun at eclipse. Einstein’s theory was tested and proved during an eclipse.
At eclipses, astronomers can also observe the spectra of the corona and the chromosome, or outer layers, of the sun. This provides important information about the chemical and physical make up of these areas. For example, such studies reveal that the corona has a temperature over 1,000,000 C. The eclipses of Jupiter’s satellites by Jupiter’s shadow can be seen with a small telescope. In 1675, Olens Roemer, a Danish astronomer, discovered the approximate speed of light by studying Jupiter’s eclipses.


Astrology, Astronomy, Earth, Eclipse, Eclipses

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