Lunar Eclipse Resources

Lunar eclipses are fascinating natural phenomena that occur when the Earth passes in between the Moon and the Sun so that the Moon falls into the Earth's shadow. In 2018 two lunar eclipses will be visible — which you may be able to see, depending on where you are on Earth at the time — on January 31st and on July 27/28, depending on your time zone.

Eclipse Visualizations and Images

Continue Observing!

  • Moon Observation Journal
    Take some time each night for a month to record your observations about the moon. You can do this on your own with a notebook, or print out a journal page.
  • International Observe the Moon Night
    Join thousands of other Moon observers as we all take a night to look up at the moon on October 20, 2018. Join the fun with others at public events!

Hands-on Activities

The following activity collection features activities related to lunar eclipses. You are welcome to appropriately modify the activities as needed to ensure they meet the needs of your audience as well as the space, time, and resources you have available.

Modeling Meaningful Eclipses Image Credit: NASA/NSSEC

Modeling Meaningful Eclipses

This activity uses simple materials as models for the Sun, Earth, and Moon and asks participants to demonstrate solar and lunar eclipses. This activity can be done outside on a bright day or inside with a brightly lit room.

  • Source: Astronomical Society of the Pacific
  • Target Audience: Ages 7 and up
  • Important Concepts: solar vs. lunar eclipses, shadows, scale, ratios.
eclipseimage3.jpg Image credit : NASA

Moon Phases and Eclipses

This activity has participants model the phases of the moon, as well as solar and lunar eclipses using easy to find materials. Participants use their own field of vision to mimic what they would see as an observer from earth.

  • Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Target Audience: Middle School
  • Important Concepts: moon phases, solar vs. lunar eclipses.

Evaluating a Lunar Eclipse

This activity asks participants to observe the brightness and range of colors visible during a lunar eclipse.

  • Source: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Target Audience: Grades 3-12
  • Important Concepts: Observation, lunar eclipse, shadows
Eclipse Illustration Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/Scientific Visualization Studio

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