I saw the question and answer for the explanation of the direction of the moon's eclipse from left to right, but what about the direction of the moon as it passes over or between Earth and the sun?

Does the moon always pass from the right to the left or from the left to the right as it covers the sun; if you live above the equator?

Or does this change? Can it change? August 2017 the USA will have a total eclipse of the sun for the first time in decades.

  • $\begingroup$ Don't forget the Earth is a ball. If you're standing on the "top" pointing "upwards" the moon would be heading one way, if you're standing on the "bottom" pointing "downwards" the moon would be heading the other way! $\endgroup$ – Fattie Oct 6 '16 at 10:31

Relative to the Sun, stars, and Earth's shadow, the Moon always appears to move from west to east. How this looks relative to the horizon depends on your latitude and time of day. If a solar eclipse occurs in the middle of the day, the Moon appears to move from right to left if you're in a northern latitude, or from left to right if you're in a southern latitude. If you're in a tropical latitude, the Moon appears to move downward if the eclipse occurs in the morning or upward if in the afternoon.

  • $\begingroup$ Wonderful, thank you for being the first to reply. I will forego the suggested thank you for contributing to StackExchange. I'm going to selfish and thank you for helping me see straight! Much obliged! $\endgroup$ – Bea Devorah Oct 7 '16 at 14:50

Coincidentally, Randall Monroe posted a drawing covering exactly this issue (with, of course, a few humorous states thrown in).


  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for contributing to the Astrology StackExchange! And thank you for contributing to my intellectual growth: one new thing learned each day proves you're not just existing and that you're living the life you were meant to live. Learning is growing in being more than you were created as. Thank you again. Love the drawing! $\endgroup$ – Bea Devorah Oct 7 '16 at 14:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.