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Re: Lunar Eclipse Shadow

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Posted by Jim on January 10, 2000 05:08:11 UTC

: : Why will the shadow of earth travel from west to east across the face of the moon? I am having trouble understanding this since the moon seems to travel from east to west.

: Correction: I mis-typed the original question. The earth's shadow will travel from east to west across the face of the moon.

I`ll take a stab at this. It`s true that the moon travels westward across the sky due to the eastward rotation of the earth. However, it`s the moon`s counter-clockwise orbit, (as viewed from above), around the earth that causes this to happen. So, (as viewed from above the earth), the moon enters the earth`s shadow from the shadow`s right. So, as viewed from the surface of the earth, the left part of the moon enters the earth`s shadow 1st. As a result, the shadow of the moon moves fron left to right or east to west across it`s surface.

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