ASTR 1230 (O'Connell) Lecture Supplement



During an eclipse either the Sun or the Moon appears to "go out." Both can be dramatic events, for properly situated observers on Earth. In particular, total solar eclipses have tremendous psychological impact because the Sun disappears with no guarantee of return. The picture at the top of the page shows a series of photographs taken before, during, and after a total solar eclipse.


The basic geometry of eclipses is simple, but predicting their occurrence and type (total, partial, annular) depends on understanding the complex nature of the lunar orbit:

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Last modified September 2015 by rwo

Eclipse images copyright © Fred Espenak. Diagrams of eclipse geometry copyright © Brooks-Cole Publishing Co. Stonehenge images from various sources. Text copyright © 1998-2015 Robert W. O'Connell. All rights reserved. These notes are intended for the private, noncommercial use of students enrolled in Astronomy 1230 at the University of Virginia.