The questions

are both about solar eclipses. Here I asking about lunar eclipses.

Question: Has the Earth's shadow on the Moon (lunar eclipse) ever been photographed from Space?

This could of course include both photographs taken by a person, or by a spacecraft. The reason I've lumped them together here, but kept them as separate questions for solar eclipses is that there have been spacecraft pointed at the Earth for over a half-century, these days many of them, so spacecraft photos of solar eclipse shadows without further qualifications would be plentiful.

There are far fewer spacecraft pointed, or point-able at the Moon, so human and spacecraft photographers can be lumped together.

  • $\begingroup$ But I don't think it'll look any different from pictures taken from the earth, except from a different angle. Unless the picture is taken on the moon then the lunar eclipse becomes a different solar eclipse? $\endgroup$ Aug 5, 2018 at 11:20
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @user3528438 It could be at a wavelength invisible from Earth, and it would look VERY different as seen from a different angle. Viewing from Earth, it's always a full moon that's eclipsed, whereas from a different angle, you may see the umbra moving across a gibbous, half, or even possibly crescent moon! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Aug 5, 2018 at 13:24
  • $\begingroup$ @uhoh I've had a search for any images taken from far enough away from Earth that the Moon appears significantly not-full during the eclipse, but close enough that it's better resolved than from Mercury, but I haven't turned anything up yet. Off the top of my head I can't think of any craft that fit those criteria that would be imaging the Moon... $\endgroup$
    – Jack
    Aug 5, 2018 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Jack thanks! Too bad Starman/Roadster didn't have a telescope/camera/radio package on it. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Aug 5, 2018 at 15:08

1 Answer 1


Several times!

Most recently, ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst took some phenomenal photographs of the July 2018 eclipse from the International Space Station1:

Crescent of moon during lunar eclipse above the limb of Earth's atmosphere as taken from ISS

Many astronauts have taken similar photographs over the years - the short period of the ISS makes it almost certain to be in view of the moon during an eclipse and quite likely to be able to view it during totality (if totality occurs).

Another surprising eclipse photographer is NASA's MESSENGER orbiter which took this short series of photographs in October 2014 from Mercury. It shows Earth and the bright spot of the moon fading from view as it falls into Earth's shadow:

Animated sequence of 2014 lunar eclipse as shown from Mercury

GIF above from Emily Lakdawalla's October 10, 2014 blogpost From Mercury orbit, MESSENGER watches a lunar eclipse

1Image credit: Alexander Gerst 2018


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