Eclipsesexplained
Western Astrology

Eclipses Explained



by Donna Woodwell October 08, 2013 06:44 PM EST
Eclipses Explained Getty Images
By a twist of fate, Earthlings get treated to front-row seats in one of the greatest shows in the solar system: Eclipses!

Look up. You may notice that the Sun and the full Moon appear to be about the same size in the sky. In reality, the Sun is much larger than the Moon (you could fit about 72 million Moons inside the Sun), but it's so much further away from the Earth, they look the same size.

If you've been fortunate enough to witness an eclipse, you know there's something unearthly about it. During a solar eclipse, there's a chill in the air and the animals are still. Day turns into night as the Moon passes in front of the Sun. A lunar eclipse is subtler, but lasts longer, as the Earth's shadow slowly tinges the face of the Moon red.


Share a free sample 2014 Jobs and Money Forecast. Master your money and attain success with this startlingly accurate forecast!

When eclipses occur, they're like super-charged new or full Moons. Solar eclipses can only occur during a new Moon, and lunar eclipses can only occur at a full Moon. (No cheating here.) But unlike a regular new or full Moon, during an eclipse the Sun, Moon and Earth must be in perfect alignment. Since the Moon's path across the sky is tilted about 5 degrees from the Sun's path, eclipses can only happen twice each year (sometimes with an extra eclipse thrown in as an encore).

All eclipses are not created equal. If a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is at perigee (close to the earth in its orbit), we see a total solar eclipse. In a total eclipse, the solar disk is completely obscured by the Moon. But if the eclipse occurs when the Moon is at apogee (far away from the earth) then we see what's called an "annular eclipse". In this type of eclipse, the edges of the Sun remain visible, creating a brighter "ring of fire" around the Sun.

Eclipses happen in cycles. The two places where the Moon's and Sun's paths cross are called the Nodes of the Moon. The nodes slowly shift across the sky, taking about 18.6 years to move through all of the 12 signs of the zodiac. So about every 9 years (half of 18.6), you can expect to enter an accelerated time of change for your own sign.

Solar and lunar eclipses also create families. An eclipse family is called a Saros Series. About 70 to 80 geometrically similar eclipses occur almost precisely 18 years, 11 days and 8 hours apart, evolving over 1200 to 1400 years. The Saros Cycle number of an eclipse suggests something about the nature of the eclipse, based on the other eclipses in the same family.
 
Find your path to fulfillment with a Free Psychic Reading. Call 1-800-749-5790 right now!
 
Can't get enough astrology? Icon fb Like us on Facebook!
 
you may also be interested in...
The Stars This Week: July 28 - August 3, 2014
The Stars This Week: June 23-29, 2014
The Stars This Week: May 19-25, 2014
The Stars This Week: April 14-20, 2014
Monthly Summary for June 2014
Monthly Summary for July 2014
Monthly Summary for August 2014
Monthly Summary for September 2014

Astrology On the Go

ASTROLOGY NEWSLETTERS

Wake Up to Your Horoscope
in Your Inbox

Start your day with a dose of the cosmos -- get your daily horoscope delivered straight to your email!

related articles
 
Bring Glamor Back! Venus in Virgo Opposes Neptune in Pisces
Bring Glamor Back! Venus in Virgo Opposes Neptune in Pisces

The invitation's in the mail this week as Venus in Virgo steps onto the dance floor with Neptune... read more »

 
Empowered Daily Rituals as the Sun Trines Pluto
Empowered Daily Rituals as the Sun Trines Pluto

With the Sun's move into Virgo last week, the back-to-school vibes are now palpable. Fresh,... read more »

 
New Moon in Virgo: Practice New Rituals
New Moon in Virgo: Practice New Rituals

"For me, starting the day without a pot of tea would be a day forever out of kilter." --... read more »

 
New astro forecast horse 300x250

featured bloggers


Stephanie Gailing


Stephanie Gailing
Stephanie Gailing combines her knack for astrological insights with her background as a nutrition/wellness consultant, guiding clients towards self-awareness, personal empowerment, and optimal well-being. She’s the author of Planetary... read more

Astrology.com videos
3778125451001
3778119200001
3778119203001
3778125459001
3778119204001
3778119213001
3778126941001
3778125477001
3778133328001
3778153261001
3778153258001
3778126953001
3778126953001
ast:div-chinese:vid:asdhlovescope
Today's Cosmic Calendar
 
Today's Planetary Forecast

If you thought yesterday's relatively calm series of sky patterns would remain influential for a second day in a row,... read more »

 
The Stars This Week!
 
The Stars This Week

Pay Attention! Someone has important news for you as Mercury conjuncts the north node on September 16! Then, be sure to... read more »