The dark, inner shadow of planet Earth is
Shaped like a cone extending into space, it has a
circular cross section and is most easily seen
But the complete cross section
is larger than the Moon's angular size in the stages of an eclipse.
Still, this thoughtful composite illustrates the full
extent of the circular shadow by utilizing images from both
partial and total eclipses passing through different parts
of the umbra.
The images span the years 1997 to 2011, diligently
captured with the same optics, from Voronezh, Russia.
Along the bottom and top are stages of the partial lunar
September 2006 and
August 2008 respectively.
In the rightside bottom image, the Moon is entering
the umbra for the total eclipse of September 1997.
At left bottom, the Moon leaves the umbra after totality in
Middle right, center, and left, are stages of the total eclipse of
June 2011, including the central,
deep red total phase.
During today's brief partial lunar eclipse
seen only from the eastern hemisphere,
the Moon will just slightly
graze the umbra's lower edge.