The above gif loosely illustrates how the sun and moon orbit above the surface of Earth. The sun, moon, and stars are smaller and much closer to the earth. In reality, their geometric relationship is constantly changing. Imagine looking at the above gif from a lateral side view: both sun and moon move upward and downward over the course of a year as they circle the north pole (center of the disk). But this circular course is not locked as the gif illustrates: the sun’s circular course widens and contracts, causing earth’s seasons. The lunar phases depend upon the positions of the sun and moon, as well as an observer’s position on earth’s surface.
However, lunar and solar eclipses are primarily caused by a wonderful and truly amazing part of nature: the Shadow Object. Essentially, the Shadow Object is a second moon that is never illuminated by the sun: therefore it cannot be seen by the naked eye. It orbits above the earth. It becomes visible, however, during a lunar or solar eclipse as it interposes itself between the sun and moon, causing the sun to cast its characteristic red shadow on the lunar surface during a lunar eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs when the shadow object moves between the observer and the sun.