The Shapes Of The Orbs

So far it has been assumed that the Earth, Moon, and Sun are spherical. In reality, because of their rotational properties they are each slightly flattened into shapes known as "oblate spheroids." The Earth is actually somewhat pear-shaped, the northern hemisphere a little thinner than the south, and both our planet and the Moon are also a little rough around the edges (both possess mountains and so on). At least their shapes are constant in the short term, whereas the Sun is forever throwing out material in coronal loops and prominences.

For simplicity, however, we assume spherical profiles in the following text, and thus circular disks and shadows. We turn next to the characters of these shadows.

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