Difference Between Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse


Main Difference

The main difference between a solar eclipse and lunar eclipse is that a solar eclipse happens when the Moon proceeds between the Earth and the Sun, obstruct all or a section of the Sun. An eclipse may be total, partial, or annular and a lunar eclipse happens when the Earth moves between the Moon and the Sun, and the Earth’s shadow unclear the moon or a portion of it.

Solar Eclipse vs. Lunar Eclipse

An eclipse takes place when a sphere or a Moon interferes with the Sun’s light. Here on Earth, we can meet two kinds of eclipses: solar eclipses and lunar eclipses. A solar eclipse takes place when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, blocking all or a portion of the Sun. A lunar eclipse comes about when the Earth moves between the Moon and the Sun and the Earth’s shadow hides the moon or a section of it.


A solar eclipse occurs during the day, and a lunar eclipse occurs at night. A solar eclipse is few and far between and when they do happen can only be seen by a very limited segment of people on Earth, for a short period. A lunar eclipse, on the other hand, can be seen from a greater portion of the Earth. Watching a solar eclipse without sunglasses protection can seriously harm your eyesight while It is quite safe to view a lunar eclipse by the naked eye. A solar eclipse has consistently had a more intense effect on humans than a lunar eclipse.

Comparison Chart

Solar EclipseLunar Eclipse
A solar eclipse is the one in which the sun blocked by the moon.Lunar eclipse mentions to the eclipse in which the Moon appears dim, as it passes into Earth shadow.
Moon is blocking the Sun.Moon takes on the shadow of the Earth.
When Do You See It
Depending on where you are, usually, the eclipse is seen earlier in the west.Everywhere at the same time.
Once in every eighteen months.Twice a year
The moon lies between the Sun and Earth.Earth lies between Sun and Moon.
Occurs during dayOccurs during night
5-7 minuteAn hour
New MoonFull Moon

What is the Solar Eclipse?

Solar eclipses can only happen throughout a New Moon when the Moon moves between Earth, and the Sun and the three planetary bodies form a straight line: Earth–Moon–Sun. An eclipse may be total, partial, or annular. A total or entire solar eclipse is when the Moon blocks out the Sun completely, a partial eclipse is when it obscures a part of the Sun, and an annular eclipse is when the Moon is at its extent in the rotation. It will not enclose the Sun completely; that’s when you can see a thin circle of light emerging from the outside edge of the Moon.

There are between two and five solar eclipses every year. Getting a chance to view a total solar eclipse is uncommon. The Moon’s shadow on Earth isn’t very large, so only a small segment of places on Earth will see it. You have to be on the bright side of the planet when it occurs. You also have to be in the pathway of the Moon’s shadow. On average, the same mark on Earth only gets to see a solar eclipse for a few minutes about every 375 years!

What is Lunar Eclipse?

A lunar eclipse may only happen when the Moon is in a straight line opposite the Sun in the sky — a Full Moon. Although there is a Full Moon each month a lunar eclipse does not occur every month because the Sun isn’t entirely in line with the Earth and the Moon. The Moon’s orbit is inclined 5 degrees over and above that of the Earth; otherwise, we would see a lunar eclipse every month. We can see lunar eclipses more easily than solar eclipses, and it has to do with presence.

The Moon is much near to the Earth (well over 300 times closer than the Sun!), so the Earth has a much greater possibility of obstructing sunlight to the Moon, compared to the Moon obstructing light from the Sun. Also, a lunar eclipse can be the view from a greater portion of the Earth. There are three kinds of lunar eclipses: total, partial, and penumbral. A total lunar eclipse takes place when Earth’s umbra – the central, dark part of its shadow – unclear all of the Moon’s surface.

A partial lunar eclipse can be noticed when only a segment of the Moon’s surface is abstruse by Earth’s umbra. A penumbra or shadowy lunar eclipse happens when the Moon travels through the faint penumbral portion of Earth’s shadow. Therefore, it eventually blocks the sunlight from falling on the moon, due to which the moon appears darkened. A lunar eclipse appears only during the full moon when it passes through the earth’s shadow.

Key Differences

  1. A solar eclipse comes about when the New Moon walk between Earth and the Sun while a lunar eclipse takes place when Earth throw a shadow on the Full Moon.
  2. In the solar eclipse, the location of the three planetary bodies is Sun, Moon, and Earth. Conversely, in the matter of lunar eclipse, the location of these are the Sun, Earth, and Moon.
  3. In a solar eclipse, the Sun gets obscure. In a lunar eclipse, the Moon gets obscure.
  4. A solar eclipse happens in the daytime at New Moon, when the Moon is between Earth and the Sun, while a lunar eclipse happens at night at Full Moon when Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon.
  5. If one sees solar eclipse straightly, i.e., through naked eyes, then there is a risk of loss of eyesight as it harms the retina. On the contrary, it is protected from harm to see lunar eclipse through naked eyes.
  6. A solar eclipse takes place every 18 months, i.e., 1.5 years. On the other hand, the lunar eclipse which takes place twice a year.
  7. The solar eclipse comes about in the New Moon appearance, but lunar eclipse happens during the Full Moon.
  8. Solar eclipse proceeds for 5-7 minutes, whereas lunar eclipse proceeds for a few years.
  9. A solar eclipse can be seen only in a small area, while lunar eclipse can be seen in the comparatively larger area.


We all well informed of the reality that Earth rotates around the Sun and the Moon rotates around the Earth. Due to this, there are definite times in a year, when these three are in lineup and forms and the exact and almost straight line called Syzygy.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss