Q:

How long does a lunar eclipse last?

A:

Quick Answer

The length of time a lunar eclipse takes varies, depending on the distance between the earth and the moon when the eclipse occurs, and whether it is a partial, or total eclipse. In general, a total lunar eclipse can last between 1 and 2 hours.

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Full Answer

During a total lunar eclipse there are partial phases before and after the total phase. The partial phases occur when the moon is not entirely within the earth's shadow and the total phase occurs when the moon is completely within the shadow. The moon appears reddish in color during this phase. The entire eclipse lasts approximately 3 1/2 hours, and the total phase lasts approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why do we have eclipses?

    A:

    According to NASA, solar eclipses occur when the moon blocks the view of the sun from Earth, and a lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth's shadow covers the surface of the moon. The perfect alignment necessary for a full eclipse is relatively rare, with partial eclipses happening much more frequently.

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  • Q:

    What causes a lunar eclipse?

    A:

    Lunar eclipses are caused when the moon travels through the Earth’s shadow. Complete lunar eclipses are rare, but partial lunar eclipses may occur up to four times per year.

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  • Q:

    How does a lunar eclipse happen?

    A:

    A lunar eclipse happens when Earth passes directly between the moon and the sun. During a lunar eclipse, the face of the moon appears to turn reddish as Earth occludes the sunlight that is normally hitting its surface.

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  • Q:

    What is a total eclipse?

    A:

    A total eclipse is an event in which the moon and sun are in perfect alignment with a spot on Earth. This occurrence is much more rare than an annual eclipse, in which the sun leaves a halo of light around the moon. A random spot on Earth experiences a total eclipse approximately once every 400 years, explains the University of Virginia Department of Astronomy.

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