2017 Eclipse and the Moon's Orbit
Image Credit: NASA/Ernie Wright
Published: May 10, 2021
Historical Date: September 9, 2015
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.