I was just wondering if it had anything to do with the fact that last year we were blessed with the opportunity to see the total solar eclipse in our neck of the woods. So this is the universe's way of making things 'even'. Or is it pure chance and luck?

Jokes aside, there is probably a physics explanation regarding tidal forces or angular momentum, so I am curious how these factors affect which parts of the world get to witness the event.

  • $\begingroup$ Lunar eclipses last at most four hours. This means that at least half of the Earth doesn't see even a part of a given lunar eclipse, less than half for the parts of the Earth where the eclipse happens to happen in the summer. $\endgroup$ Jul 29, 2018 at 0:52
  • $\begingroup$ Full moon at wrong time. $\endgroup$ Jul 29, 2018 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


Nothing so romantic as the universe being fair.

The path of the moon is tilted by about 5 degrees from the path of the sun. but twice a month the moon must cross the path of the sun. When this moment coincides exactly with full moon there is a lunar eclipse. Since the sun is on the opposite side of the Earth, lunar eclipses are only visible during the night, and this one happened to occur during the day for the USA. When it is day in the USA it is night in China, and the eclipse was visible from the other side of the world.

Of course, these things aren't random, but there is no simple formula like "if you see a solar eclipse, then the next lunar eclipse won't be visible." You can just go to any of the eclipse prediction websites to find when the next one will be visible in your area.


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