I'm trying to solve this task:

Suppose today there is a covering of the Pleiades star cluster by the Moon. Could there be an eclipse of the sun tomorrow? The moon?

I think the answer to both is no, because Pleiades are located above the ecliptic, but I'm not sure. Could someone provide an explanation please?

  • $\begingroup$ Not an answer here, but there may be some helpful information in this answer to When are the planets occulted by the sun? There's a GIF from SOHO images of the Pleides shooting past the Sun. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Aug 10, 2021 at 15:59
  • $\begingroup$ Can you add some numbers to your question? What is the Pleiades' ecliptic coordinates and what is the (mean) inclination of the Moon's orbit? $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2021 at 23:35

1 Answer 1


Consider how far the pleiades are above the ecliptic, and how far the moon travels in a day. From this you can work the angle at which the moon must travel relative to the ecliptic, in order to cross the eliptic within a day.

You can then compare this with the actual inclination of the moon's orbit to the ecliptic, and that will tell you if an eclipse is possible.


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