Find out what reasons a lunar eclipse. Then, use a paper plate to do a model that mirrors why they don’t happen as often as you can expect.

You are watching: Solar eclipse project



Paper plate, take-out container, or one more flat surface with elevated edges (thick product recommended)

Pencil, pen, or noting pen


Small ball, roughly 3-5 centimeters (1-2 inches) in diameter, or one more object to stand for the Sun

(Optional) jar, lid, or one more round object that can be used to trace out a circle


1. Learn around lunar eclipses

Solar and lunar eclipses can occur when the Sun, Moon, and Earth line up in specific ways. Lunar eclipses have the right to only happen throughout a full moon – in other words as soon as the Moon and Sun are on opposite political parties of Earth. Once sunlight reaches Earth, a shadow is cast on the next of planet opposite from the Sun. If the Moon passes through this shadow, it results in a lunar eclipse.

But just since a lunar eclipse can happen during a complete moon doesn"t mean it will. This is since the Moon"s orbit is slightly tilted. Therefore usually, the Moon passes over or below Earth"s shadow rather than through it.

The time period when the Moon, Earth, and Sun are lined up and on the same plane – enabling for the Moon come pass through Earth’s shadow – is called an eclipse season. When a full moon occurs during an eclipse season, the Moon travels v Earth’s shadow, producing a lunar eclipse.

Unlike solar eclipses, which require special glasses to view and can be seen just for a couple of short minute in a very restricted area, a complete lunar eclipse can be checked out for as much as an hour by anyone on the nighttime side of planet – as lengthy as skies are clear.

2. Construct an eclipse model

draw or trace a circle 3-5 customs (8-13 centimeters) in diameter in the middle of the plate.

Step 1. Picture credit: | + broaden image

In the facility of the circle, draw a tiny circle and label it "Earth."

Step 2. Image credit: | + increase image

At the edge of the file plate, make a little arrow pointing outward that girlfriend will use as a recommendation in the following step and also later in the project.

Step 3. Image credit: | + expand image

On the within edge that the larger circle, mark four evenly spaced points at 0, 90, 180, and also 270 levels (3, 12, 9, and also 6 o’clock). You should align the 90 level (12 o’clock) allude with the reference mark you make in the ahead step.Label each allude as follows:Point 1 (at 90 degrees, or 12 o’clock)Point 2 (at 180 degrees, or 9 o’clock)Point 3 (at 270 degrees, or 6 o’clock)Point 4 (at 0 degrees, or 3 o’clock)

Steps 4 and also 5. Picture credit: | + expand image

Carefully cut along the larger circle girlfriend drew, starting at the 90 or 270 level marks (12 or 6 o’clock). You may want come poke a starter feet to make straightforward spot to start cutting. Protect against cutting at the 180 and 0 level marks (9 and 3 o’clock), leave a few millimeters that uncut an are before continuing to cut approximately the circle. You need to be left v a one still associated to the plate at 180 and also 0 levels (9 and 3 o"clock).

Step 6. Picture credit: | + increase image

With both cuts made, tenderness twist the reduced circle in the facility of the plate therefore the 90 degree (12 o’clock) allude rises up slightly and the 270 level (6 o’clock) allude dips under slightly. Be cautious not to tear the document between the two cuts.

3. Inspect for one eclipse

The edge of the tilted circle to represent the tilted orbit that the Moon around Earth. The outer part of the plate represents the airplane in which earth’s shadow falls.

Place her plate ~ above a level surface and suggest the reference arrowhead away indigenous you. Then, place an item representing the sun on the opposite next of the plate from the arrow.

Use your version to answer this questions:

Where would certainly the full moon be located? (Hint: mental a complete moon is top top the opposite side of planet from the Sun.)Is that point in the same plane as earth’s shadow? would there be a lunar eclipse throughout this full moon?

4. Travel about the Sun

Pick increase the plate and move the counter-clockwise to the 180 degree (9 o’clock) position about the Sun. As planet orbits the Sun, the orientation of the Moon’s tilt continues to be the same, for this reason make sure to save your reference arrowhead pointed in the same direction it was pointed when you started.

See more: Can Someone Else Ride With Me While Driving For Lyft Rides, : Lyftdrivers

Use your model to answer this questions:

whereby would the full moon be situated now?Is that suggest in the same aircraft as earth shadow?Would over there be a lunar eclipse throughout this full moon?

5. Walk all the method around!

Repeat these actions by moving the plate come the 270 degree (6 o’clock) and 0 degree (3 o’clock) positions around the Sun. Prize the same concerns as in action 4 because that each position.

6. Make a forecast from your model

Moving the model all the means around the sunlight represents one year. The moment of year as soon as an eclipse occurs is referred to as an eclipse season. Based on what you"ve seen v your model, how often would you expect that one eclipse season occurs?