Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti Drops Stunning Lunar Eclipse Photos

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti Drops Stunning Lunar Eclipse Photos

New images reveal the recent lunar eclipse seen from the International Space Station.

European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti Twitter Monday to share three stunning new photographs from space.

The images show the recent lunar eclipse – also known as the “Blood Moon” – which occurred on May 15 from three different vantage points.

In one of the photos, Earth’s glowing blue atmosphere could be seen in the background.

Also clearly visible in the three images are the wings of the International Space Station (ISS) – which are made up of solar panels.

“A partially eclipsed Moon playing hide and seek with our solar panel,” Cristoforetti tweeted in English and Italian.

Since being uploaded, the images have garnered thousands of likes and hundreds of comments and retweets.

“I saw the station last night while watching the eclipse! I waved at you all and wondered how great the view was from up there. Thanks for sharing these pics!” one Twitter user commented.

“Amazing photos, thanks for sharing,” echoed a second user.

In all the images, we see the wings of the International Space Station (ISS) – made of solar panels.
In all the images, we see the wings of the International Space Station (ISS) – made of solar panels.

“These are some of the coolest images of the moon I’ve seen. They look like they’re straight out of a movie,” a third person chimed in.

What is a lunar eclipse?

The Earth constantly revolves around the Sun and the Moon constantly revolves around the Earth.

Sometimes the three can line up, placing the Earth directly between the Sun and the Moon in a straight line.

This means that the Moon is in the darkest part of the Earth’s shadow – “the shadow”.

And due to the practical size and distance of the three objects, no sunlight can reach the Moon directly.

However, some of the sunlight is refracted by Earth’s atmosphere, causing the Moon to appear reddish – hence the name “Blood Moon”.

Lunar eclipses usually last only a few hours and can be seen from anywhere on the night side of Earth.

Because they are usually quite dark, it is also possible to view lunar eclipses without eye protection, which is not the case with a solar eclipse.

How many types of lunar eclipses are there?

There are three different types of lunar eclipses.

A “total lunar eclipse” occurs when the Moon turns dark red, receiving only light that has passed through Earth’s atmosphere.

“Penumbral lunar eclipses” occur when the Sun, Moon, and Earth do not form a perfectly straight line, so the Moon only moves through the outer part of Earth’s shadow.

Finally, a “partial lunar eclipse” describes when part of the Moon passes through Earth’s full shadow, causing part of the Moon to darken.

This story originally appeared on The sun and has been reproduced here with permission.

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