Differences Between Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse
By Marc Gordon - August 2, 2021

Lunar and solar eclipses are both celestial events that are visible to the human eye and as such have a good deal of fascination for people. However, there are some key differences between the two and the purpose of this article is to illuminate them.

Table Summary

Solar EclipseLunar Eclipse
Blocking of the sun by the moonBlocking of the moon by the earth’s shadow
InfrequentQuite frequent
Occurs during the dayOccurs during the night
Can be full or partialCan be full, partial, or ring-shaped
Lasts a few minutesLasts a few hours
Can only be seen from a certain spot where the sun and moon alignCan be seen from anywhere it is the night when it occurs
Requires specialty glasses so as not to damage eyes while lookingCan be seen without any other equipment


Solar Eclipse is an occurrence where the sun is blocked by the moon. This does not occur often, only between two to four times a year globally and only once every hundred years over the same spot. The solar eclipse only occurs during the day and lasts a few minutes at most. The solar eclipse can only be seen if you’re in a specific location and using specialty glasses.

Lunar Eclipse is an occurrence where the moon is blocked by the earth’s shadow. It occurs every 2,5 years and is visible to the whole earth wherever it is at night. This phenomenon lasts a few hours and can be seen with the naked eye throughout.

Solar Eclipse VS Lunar Eclipse

The key differences between solar and lunar eclipses are that the solar eclipse occurs during the day while the lunar eclipse occurs at night, the solar eclipse is when the sun is blocked by the moon and the lunar eclipse is where the moon is blocked by the earth’s shadow. The solar eclipse is only visible in the same place every 100 years, lasts a few minutes, and requires special glasses to witness. Alternatively, lunar eclipses occur every 2.5 years and are visible across the world wherever it is nighttime with the naked eye and can be seen for several hours.