Earth Shadow on Moon
June 07, 2003
The above image shows the Earth's shadow covering a portion of the Moon. The photo was taken over Quebec, Canada during a total lunar eclipse on January 20, 2000. As was mentioned in the caption of yesterday's Earth Science Picture of the Day, the position of the umbra (deepest part of the Earth's shadow), largely determines how the Moon looks during a total lunar eclipse. Whether or not our atmosphere is clear effects the Moon's appearance as well. If the sky is hazy during an eclipse, the Moon will likely completely fade from view. Only during an eclipse does the position of the Earth control how much of the Moon is illuminated. The phases of the Moon result from our our perspective in relation to the position of the Moon and the Sun -- as the Moon orbits us, our perspective changes each day.