A lunar eclipse is an astronomical event that occurs when the Moon moves into the Earth's shadow, causing the moon to be darkened. Such alignment occurs during an eclipse season, approximately every six months, during the full moon phase, when the Moon's orbital plane is closest to the plane of the Earth's orbit. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are exactly or very closely aligned with Earth between the other two, which can happen only on the night of a full moon when the Moon is near either lunar node. The type and length of a lunar eclipse depend on the Moon's proximity to the lunar node. When the moon is totally eclipsed by the Earth, it takes on a reddish color that is caused by the planet when it completely blocks direct sunlight from reaching the Moon surface, as only the light reflected from the lunar surface has been refracted by Earth's atmosphere.