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9-12

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Shadows, Lunar Phases and Eclipses

This animation shows several angles of the rotation of Earth, the orbit of the Moon about the Earth, and the orbit of the Earth-Moon about the Sun. The appearance of both the Sun and the Moon can be affected by the shadows cast by the Earth and the Moon in the sunlight. Because the Moon’s orbit has a slight tilt (with respect to Earth’s orbit around the Sun), usually the New Moon misses the Sun in the sky and usually the Full Moon misses the Earth’s shadow. When it doesn’t, we see a Solar or a Lunar eclipse.

Learn more at Animations for Physics and Astronomy.

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