There are three types of lunar eclipses (opens in new tab) — total, partial and penumbral — with the most dramatic being a total lunar eclipse, in which Earth's shadow completely covers the moon.
Here's how it works: Earth casts two shadows that fall on the moon during a lunar eclipse: The umbra is a full, dark shadow. The penumbra is a partial outer shadow. The moon passes through these shadows in stages. When the moon is in the penumbral shadow, the eclipse is not so noticeable. But when the moon is in the umbral shadow, the apparent change in color is far more dramatic.
Editor's note: If you capture an amazing lunar eclipse photo and would like to share it with Space.com for a story or gallery, send images and comments to managing editor Tariq Malik at email@example.com.
- Lunar eclipse guide: When, where & how to see them (opens in new tab)
- Eclipse glossary: Solar eclipses, lunar eclipses and their terms (opens in new tab)
- Under a Blood Moon: A look at famous lunar eclipses in history (opens in new tab)
- Longest lunar eclipse of the century dazzles skywatchers (opens in new tab)
For a limited time, you can take out a digital subscription to any of our best-selling science magazines (opens in new tab) for just $2.38 per month, or 45% off the standard price for the first three months.