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Orbits of Earth and Moon. Looking at a two-dimensional diagram, you might wonder why there isn't an eclipse every month. The answer is that the Moon's orbit is slightly tilted with respect to the Earth's orbit. The two points where its orbit crosses Earth orbit are called nodes. Only if the Moon is full when it's near a node do the Sun, Earth and Moon line up for a lunar eclipse. ©Mona Evans, “Lunar Eclipses”

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An Earth and a Lunar Eclipse Seen From Space

Sun eclipsed by Earth (left) and Moon (right). (Image credit: NASA/SDO) The Solar Dynamics Observatory orbits Earth in such a way that very occasionally it lines up with Earth & Sun (or Moon & Sun) to cause an eclipse. The Moon's shadow is better-defined & more curved than Earth's, because the Moon has no atmosphere, and is smaller and farther away from the Satellite. ©Mona Evans, “Lunar Eclipses”

Passing the Moon: The first body New Horizons passed after launch was our own Moon, just eight hours and thirty five minutes after liftoff on Jan. 19, 2006. New Horizons reached the closest distance to the Moon before crossing lunar orbit.

Solar Eclipses: An Observer's Guide (Infographic) - When the moon covers up the sun, skywatchers delight in the opportunity to see a rare spectacle. Mona Evans, “Solar Eclipses”

If you were on the Moon during a total lunar eclipse, you'd see a total solar eclipse. It might look something like this, with the Earth's nightside faintly shining. (Credit: Hana Gartstein) Mona Evans, "Lunar Eclipses"

'Ring of Fire' Solar Eclipse. This photo of an annular solar eclipse was taken on May 20, 2012 in Roswell, NM, USA. The Moon's orbit isn't exactly circular and the Moon seems smaller when it's more distant. This means it doesn't quite cover the Sun during an eclipse. (Credit: Joel Dykstra) Mona Evans, “Solar Eclipses”

Enceladus, Saturn's tiny moon (310mi dia) churns with internal heat,ejecting plumes of microscopic ice particles into Saturn's orbit. Photo from the Cassini orbiter in 10/08, NASA. #Enceladus #Saturn #Astronomy #NASA #Cassini_Orbiter

Lunar Eclipse infographic. (Credit: Karl Tate) Mona Evans, “Lunar Eclipses”