Eclipse Shadow Problems


Total Solar Umbra vs Total Lunar Umbra: There's A Difference

The darkest part of Earth's shadow, its umbra, falls on the face of the Moon during a total lunar eclipse. The much larger Earth with its much larger shadow, has a large umbra that completely covers the Moon. Despite this fact, the Moon never disappears during a total lunar eclipse. The explanation is that the Earth's atmosphere (on its night side) refracts light onto the Moon and this makes the Moon look red. During the total solar eclipse, the Moon's much smaller shadow umbra is able to cause the sky to darken as if it was twilight. The much smaller lunar umbra is able to cause a dark spot on the Earth during the day. If you are in the path of the total solar eclipse, you are supposed to be able to  witness it getting dark out, so dark you can see stars. There seems to be a problem. Wouldn't all the bright atmosphere of the Earth refract light in the same manner we are told it does during a total lunar eclipse? If the Moon's shadow was hitting Earth surface in the manner described wouldn't we expect a much more intense refracted light effect and would we not expect that the sky would still be somewhat bright and not dark?

If ambient light from Earth's unlit side can illuminate the Moon surface during total lunar eclipse, despite Earth's much larger shadow umbra. Why then does none of the ambient light from the bright day side effect the total solar eclipse? Should we really expect the Moon to blot sunlight  from the sky, (along the path of total eclipse viewing)  as described? One would think the much smaller lunar shadow should not be able to achieve the feat of a total solar eclipse.

"The antumbra is the lighter part of a shadow that forms at a certain distance from the object casting the shadow. It is involved in annular solar eclipses and planet ..."

source: Eclipse Shadow: What Is the Antumbra? - Time and Date

Earth's Umbra vs The Moon's Umbra

"For a lunar eclipse to occur, the Sun, Earth and Moon must be roughly aligned in a straight line. If the Sun, Earth and Moon do not align, Earth cannot cast a shadow on the Moon's surface and an eclipse cannot happen.

When the Sun, Earth and Moon are not perfectly aligned, only the outer part of Earth's shadow covers the Moon. Such an eclipse is called a penumbral lunar eclipse. In a Total Lunar Eclipse, Earth's umbra completely covers the Moon. Earth's umbra is about 870,000 miles (1.4 million km) wide."

"The Moon Looks Red

Even though Earth completely blocks sunlight from directly reaching the surface of the Moon, the Moon is still visible to the naked eye during a Total Lunar Eclipse. This is because Earth's atmosphere refracts sunlight and indirectly lights up the Moon's surface.

Earth's atmosphere removes or blocks parts of the sunlight's spectrum leaving only the longer wavelengths. Because of this, a totally eclipsed Moon usually looks red."

source: Total Lunar Eclipse - Blood Moon - Time and Date

Earth Has Big Umbra

"The Earth's umbra is ~1.4 Million km long: About 3.7x the mean Earth-Moon distance. Umbra's width is 9000 km at the distance of the Moon, or ~2.6x the Moon's diameter."

source: Lecture 9: Eclipses of the Sun & Moon

"Solar eclipse 2017 arrives on August 21. What should you expect? How dark is it going to get?"

"That depends on where you live, of course, but here are some rules of thumb. According to Great American Eclipse, “It is a scene of unimaginable beauty; the Moon completely blocks the Sun, daytime becomes a deep twilight, and the Sun’s corona shimmers in the darkened sky.”

The states experiencing a total eclipse will undergo several minutes of darkness. “When the moon blots out the sun during Monday’s total solar eclipse..states in its path of totality, from Oregon to South Carolina, will be plunged into darkness for a few minutes,” The Los Angeles Times reports. It will be brief. “Totality lasts less than three minutes,” according to Science Alert.

According to NASA, “Over the course of 100 minutes, 14 states across the United States will experience more than two minutes of darkness in the middle of the day. Additionally, a partial eclipse will be viewable across all of North America.”

How dark will it get? Those in areas with a total eclipse will experience a phenomenon mirroring mid-twilight (if you’re in an area with a partial eclipse, we provide a method for determining the degree of your eclipse later in this article.)

“During a total eclipse, the sun’s corona is about as bright as a good full moon,” reports. “Additionally, the edge of the moon’s shadow is, at most, only 35 miles away and considerable light will still come in from nearby areas not in total eclipse. Generally speaking, it will be as dark during a total eclipse as it is about a half hour after sunset, or as dark as mid-twilight.” You can see eclipse times within communities in the total eclipse path here. 

The darkening will be gradual.

“Whether you are in the area of a partial eclipse or in the strip of totality, as the moon moves between the Earth and the sun, the sky will gradually begin to darken. If you are in the area of totality, the sky will grow dark as if it were nighttime, stars will appear and the temperature will drop,” KIRO7 reports.

According to AOL, it will resemble the darkness of nighttime. “…It will be dark — so dark that some animals seem to think it’s suddenly nighttime. During some previous eclipses, scientists have recorded cases of bats coming out to hunt, crickets starting to chirp and cows heading back to the barn.”


Moon and Earth to Scale and in Proportion

Consider all the ambient light, in this model of the solar system would a total solar eclipse really be achievable?

Does this not seem to be a flaw in the heliocentric based model of the solar system?

The Sun is supposed to be many times larger than the Earth or Moon, it is also supposed to be bright enough to illuminate planets much further away than the Earth. The Sun is supposed to be so bright it is imagined it can be seen from another solar system. Wouldn't we expect ambient light to drown out the "total" part of the total solar eclipse? This suggests that the eclipse phenomena is not the result of physical bodies interacting with a light source. An electrochemical based model might better describe astronomical reality.


source: Astronomy: Some Illustrations of Scale

Would we not expect the tiny lunar shadow to get drowned out by all the bright ambient light from Earth's sunlit side? Such ambient light is the explanation as to why the Moon face never disappears during a total solar eclipse, despite the fact that the Earth's shadow umbra is huge compared to the Moon's.

Solar Eclipse

"An eclipse of the Sun (or solar eclipse) can only occur at New Moon when the Moon passes between Earth and Sun. If the Moon's shadow happens to fall upon Earth's surface at that time, we see some portion of the Sun's disk covered or 'eclipsed' by the Moon. Since New Moon occurs every 29 1/2 days, you might think that we should have a solar eclipse about once a month. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen because the Moon's orbit around Earth is tilted 5 degrees to Earth's orbit around the Sun. As a result, the Moon's shadow usually misses Earth as it passes above or below our planet at New Moon. At least twice a year, the geometry lines up just right so that some part of the Moon's shadow falls on Earth's surface and an eclipse of the Sun is seen from that region.

The Moon's shadow actually has two parts: 1. Penumbra 2. Umbr"If the Moon's inner or umbral shadow sweeps across Earth's surface, then a total eclipse of the Sun is seen. The track of the Moon's umbral shadow across Earth is called the Path of Totality. It is typically 10,000 miles long but only about 100 miles wide. It covers less than 1% of Earth's entire surface area. In order to see the Sun become completely eclipsed by the Moon, you must be somewhere inside the narrow path of totality."

source: Solar Eclipses for Beginners - Mr. Eclipse

The Solar System To Scale

Computer modeled math is one thing. Why not a "live" interactive domed auditorium style display? Why can't anyone make a beach ball sized light as Sun and set up a model of the Solar System that anyone could go and examine and play with and even move around in? In the video below, planets are represented as lights. I'd like to see this same set up done with the planets as they are supposed to be and the Sun as well. I'm hazarding a guess but I'm of the opinion that the Moon and Earth interaction would not be like observable eclipses. I have a feeling that it is impossible to actually and physically model the solar system and to get it to work without a large helping of fudge.

To Scale: The Solar System  source: To Scale: