How to Draw a Lunar Eclipse

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A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon. All three bodies line up in this order. A total lunar eclipse occurs during a Full Moon, and it can be seen from anywhere on the Earth. As the Moon moves across the sky, it moves into and out of the shadow cast by Earth onto it. To learn about this scientific event, you will find it useful to draw a labeled diagram of a lunar eclipse.

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler
  • Paper
  • Pencil

Draw the Sun, Earth and Moon on your piece of paper. Draw a large circle for the sun with a diameter of at least 1.5 inches. Then, leave a gap of approximately 3 inches to the right before drawing another circle with a 1-inch diameter. This is the Earth. An inch to the right of the Earth, draw a third circle with a 0.25-inch diameter for the Moon.

Check that all the three bodies are in line using your ruler. Each one should be at the same level as the next. This is crucial to exactly illustrate the lunar eclipse.

Label each of the bodies with the appropriate name. Add lines protruding from the Sun to represent rays, and add shapes of countries onto the Earth. Illustrate ice caps by adding a curved line at the top and bottom of the circle. By doing this, you can give each of the bodies identity.

Hold your ruler at an angle on your page. Position its top left-hand corner just above the sun, then angle it so the bottom right-hand corner is just above the Moon. Rule this line into place. It shows how the Earth blocks the rays of light from the Sun, and obscures the Moon.

Rule a second line that mirrors the line drawn during step 4. Place the bottom left-hand corner of the ruler just below the Sun, and angle it so the bottom right-hand corner is just below the Moon. Use your pencil to draw it into this position.

Illustrate that half the Earth is now in shadow. Draw a vertical line down the center of the circle that represents the Earth. Shade the right hand half completely in black to show that is in shadow. Label this as "Earth's shadow." Also, shade in the Moon's circle black.

Add a series of vertical stripes in the area between the Earth and the Moon. The two lines converge beyond the Moon, so fill in this area with stripes to show where the Earth's shadow is cast. Label this area "Umbra."

Attach a final label to the moon. Call it "lunar eclipse," as the diagram now illustrates the Earth blocking all light from the Sun to the Moon, causing it to fall into blackness.


  • Add the penumbra and the orbits of each body into the diagram as you gradually learn about the lunar eclipse.