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Create your own solar and lunar eclipse

Suitable For

Grade 3



Time Required

 <1 Hour



What’s it about?

Eclipse means to overshadow something. A ‘solar eclipse’ is caused by the moon blocking light to the earth, while a ‘lunar eclipse’ is caused by the earth blocking light to the moon. In this science experiment, use a plastic ball and a lamp to create a simple ‘solar’ and ‘lunar’ eclipse:

Topics covered


What will I need?


Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes in a direct line between the Earth and the sun. The moon’s shadow travels over the Earth’s surface and blocks out the sun’s light as seen from that specific region on the Earth.

A lunar eclipse occurs as the moon, during its orbit around earth, moves across the earth’s shadow. This shadow is divided into two sections, both of which take on a cone-like shape. The outer ring of the earth’s shadow, called the Penumbra, does contain some light, but it’s a very small amount. The inner cone is known as the Umbra and is completely dark. During the Eclipse, the moon will often appear to be a mix of red, brown and orange, and does not actually turn completely dark, due to some light getting refracted toward it by the Earth. In this science experiment, both events are created by using the lamp as the ‘sun’, the ball as the ‘moon’ and your body represents the earth.

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This particular science project can be found in any of the following Experiland e-books:

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