What Causes Solar and lunar Eclipses and How Can It Affect People

What Is an Eclipse?

An eclipse is a natural phenomenon that occurs when the sun, moon, and earth align in a particular way. There are two types of eclipses: solar eclipses and lunar eclipses. Solar eclipses occur when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, causing the sun to be temporarily obscured.

Lunar eclipses occur when the earth passes between the sun and the moon, causing the moon to be temporarily darkened. Eclipses can have a dramatic effect on people, both physically and emotionally.

Why Do Eclipses Happen?

When the moon orbits around the earth, it usually passes in between the sun and the earth, causing a shadow on the earth. But about twice a year, the alignment of the sun, earth, and moon is such that the moon’s shadow falls on the earth’s surface. This phenomenon is called an eclipse.

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A solar eclipse happens when the moon’s shadow falls on the earth’s surface, while a lunar eclipse happens when the earth’s shadow falls on the moon. Depending on where you are on earth, you can see either a total eclipse, in which the sun is completely obscured by the moon or a partial eclipse, in which only part of the sun is covered.

Eclipse seasons happen about every six months, and each season usually features two eclipses. Although eclipses are relatively rare, they have been happening for billions of years and will continue to happen long into the future. There is actually an eclipse scheduled to occur in 2024, however all is unknown in this universe.

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Lunar and solar eclipse
Credit: Kunal Yadav

How Can an Eclipse Affect People?

Solar eclipses have been known to cause seizures in people with epilepsy and other neurological disorders. In addition, looking directly at a solar eclipse can damage your eyesight. Lunar eclipses, on the other hand, are said to have a calming effect on people.

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Many cultures believe that lunar eclipses are a time of introspection and contemplation. Regardless of their effects, eclipses are awe-inspiring events that offer a glimpse into the fascinating workings of our universe.

What You Need To Have For an Eclipse When It Happens

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Eclipse-viewing is a thrilling experience that everyone should have at least once in their lifetime–but it’s important to do it safely. That’s why, when eclipse season rolls around, you must ensure you have the right gear.

The most important item on the list? A pair of safe, eclipse-viewing glasses. These specially designed glasses allow you to look directly at the sun during an eclipse without damaging your eyes. With regular sunglasses, you might be tempted to sneak a peek, but don’t be fooled–even a glance can cause serious harm. So, make sure you have a pair of eclipse glasses handy, and enjoy the show!


What we do know is that eclipse can have a profound effect on people and the environment. For example, during a total eclipse, the skies darken and the temperature drops, disrupting the normal patterns of animals and plants.

In addition, eclipses can also cause changes in human behavior. Some people report feeling anxious or unsettled during an eclipse, while others say they feel awe and wonder. Regardless of how you feel about them, it is clear that eclipses are powerful phenomena with the potential to cause significant changes in our world.

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Written by Taylor McKnight, Author for American Paper Optics

Ominy science editory team

A team of dedicated users that search, fetch and publish research stories for Ominy science.

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