A great circle on the celestial sphere representing the sun’s apparent path during the year, so called because lunar and solar eclipses can occur only when the moon crosses it.
- An eclipse occurs only if the Moon crosses the ecliptic when very close to either conjunction or opposition, respectively producing solar and lunar eclipses.
- The Moon's Nodes are points in space representing the points where the moon's orbit around the earth crosses the ecliptic.
- The other planets though also move across the sky on paths close to the ecliptic.
Of an eclipse or the ecliptic.
- Lunar eclipses occur at the time of a Full Moon, and when the Moon is near one of the nodes of intersection between its orbit and the ecliptic plane.
- Another eight years later the node has moved beyond the ecliptic limit, and no transit can take place.
- Second, and more significant, eclipses do not necessarily occur precisely on the node, but rather there is a range of possible positions called the ecliptic limits.
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