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For an eclipse, Sun, Earth and Moon must be aligned. Most of the time, the Moon doesn't pass exactly in front of the Earth (for a solar eclipse) or behind it (for a lunar eclipse), but passes more to the north or more to the south. This is because the Moon's orbit around the Earth is not exactly in the same plane as Earth's orbit around the Sun.

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The Earth orbits around the Sun in a plane called the "ecliptic". It is the reference plane for most things in the solar system; when scientists talk about something being "tilted" or angled (such as, the tilt of the Earth's axis of rotation) they are comparing it to the plane of the ecliptic.

If the Moon's orbit was in the same plane as the ecliptic, then there would be solar eclipses at every new moon and lunar eclipses at every full moon. But the Moon's orbit is tilted compared to the Earth's orbit. So eclipses can only happen when the Moon passes through the ecliptic AT THE TIME OF THE FULL OR NEW MOONS. That only happens about every six months.

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Q: Why does a lunar or solar eclipse happen only twice per year?
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When might an eclipse happen?

Lunar eclipses happen about twice a year at the full moon. Solar eclipses happen about twice a year at the new moon.The link below to the NASA Eclipse Site lists details about every eclipse from 2000 BC to 3000 AD.

How common is a lunar eclipse?

Lunar Eclipses happen on average twice a year.

What is the importance of a solar eclipse?

They only happen once in or twice in a lifetime!

How many times in a month a lunar eclipse can happen?

Lunar eclipses can happen a maximum of twice per year, and only at the time of the full moon. Sometimes the alignment is just right, and we get a total lunar eclipse. If the alignment isn't exact, we might get a partial or a penumbral eclipse instead of a total eclipse.

How long does lunar eclipse come?

It happens every month, but that does not mean in the same place. Lunar eclipses happen twice a year in a 1-2 month period.

Why does a lunar eclipse occur every full moon?

Actually it doesn't. Typically, a lunar eclipse happens about twice a year.

When does solar eclips occurs?

Depends,a solar eclipse happens twice a year and a lunar is what youl'd have to search up.But an eclipse happens usally once a year.

Do Lunar Eclipse's occur often?

Solar eclipses happen twice a year or so. The problem is that the geometry is a little touchy; if it isn't just so, you won't get a total eclipse, but only a partial eclipse. And the area of the Earth affected by the solar eclipse is very small; a path about 100 miles wide and a few thousand miles long. Since 75% of the Earth's surface is water, a lot of eclipses aren't visible on land at all. NASA's Eclipse web page will let you see when each eclipse will occur, and where.

Why are you less likely to see a total solar eclipse?

Solar eclipses and lunar eclipses each happen about twice a year. However, a lunar eclipse can be seen from the entire night-side of the Earth, while a solar eclipse is visible across only a narrow path across the planet. And since 3/4 of the Earth is covered by water, many eclipses are never seen by anybody! For example, the next solar eclipse is on July 11, 2010. The path of totality begins deep in the South Pacific Ocean, and covers a few scattered atolls in French Polynesia, Easter Island, and the southern tips of Chile and Argentina.

Why does a solar eclipse happens once or twice in a year?

The sun comes in the middle of the earth and moon and so causing a solar eclipse.

Why does a solar eclipse occurs only a few times a year?

It does not. There are generally two solar eclipses and two lunar eclipses each year. Because the alignment of the Earth, Moon and Sun is rarely precisely right, we sometimes get two partial eclipses instead of a single total eclipse, but on average, two per year.

When was the last eclipse took place please?

A lunar eclipse always occurs twice a year, once in June and once in December; the last lunar eclipse was on June 15th. A solar eclipse occurs between two to five times per year; the last one was on July 1st. Bear in mind, however, that regardless of an eclipse's frequency, it can only be seen in certain locations on the globe, and the locations change frequently.