2017 Eclipse and the Moon’s Orbit

May 10, 2021
CreditNASA/Ernie Wright
Historical DateSeptember 9, 2015
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The Moon orbits the Earth in the months prior to the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. Viewed from above, the Moon's shadow appears to cross the Earth every month, but a side view reveals the five-degree tilt of the Moon's orbit. Its shadow only hits the Earth when the line of nodes, the fulcrum of its orbital tilt, is pointed toward the Sun.