Monday, 13 June 2011

Lunar Eclipse of 15/06/2011 - The Longest & Darkest Lunar Eclipse of the Millennium

A total lunar eclipse will take place on June 15, 2011. It is the first of two total lunar eclipses in 2011, the second occurring on December 10.

It is a relatively rare central eclipse where the moon passes in front of the centre of the Earth's shadow. The last lunar eclipse closer to the centre of the earth's shadow was on July 16, 2000. The next central total lunar eclipse will be on July 27, 2018.

It will be visible completely over Africa, and Central Asia, visible rising over South America, western Africa, and Europe, and setting over eastern Asia. In western Asia, Australia and the Philippines, the lunar eclipse will be visible just before sunrise.

In India the timings are :

Penumbral Eclipse Begins: 17:24:33 UT Partial Eclipse Begins: 18:22:55 UT Total Eclipse Begins: 19:22:29 UT Greatest Eclipse: 20:12:35 UT Total Eclipse Ends: 21:02:41 UT Partial Eclipse Ends: 22:02:14 UT Penumbral Eclipse Ends: 23:00:44 UT.

Earth´s Penumbra is light shadow
Earth´s Umbra is Dark shadow

Eclipse Contacts

P1 = 17:24:33 UT +5 hours 30 minutes = 10.54pm 37sec IST ( Indian standard Time )
U1 = 18:22:55 UT +5 hours 30 minutes = 11.52pm 57sec
U2 = 19:22:29 UT +5 " " = 12.52am 29sec
Total eclipse 20: 12: 36 + 5.30.00 --- = 1.42am 36sec
U3 = 21:02:41 UT + --------------- = 2.32am 41sec
U4 = 22:02:14 UT + ----------------- = 3.32am 14sec
P4 = 23:00:44 UT + ----------------- = 4.30am 44sec

Eclipse Time IST in India: 11.52 pm to 3.32 am night of June 15. Mid Eclipse is at 1.42am on 16th.

The moon is completely covered by Earth Shadow (Total Eclipse) from 12.52 am to 2.32am on June 16 early morning.

Eclipse Durations
Penumbral = 05h36m12s
Umbral (dark) = 03h39m19s

** India Don't follow Day light savings Time!

General Information on Solar and Lunar Eclipses

Eclipses, including total solar eclipses, have been the subject of superstition and scientific curiosity throughout history. There was a time when some cultures dreaded eclipses, but many people look forward to their occurrence in modern times. explores how a total solar eclipse works and briefly examines other types of eclipses, including lunar eclipses.

Colour of Moon during Total Lunar eclipse:

Due to the atmospheric refraction moon may appear dark brown and red to bright orange and yellow depending on the amount and type of dust present in the atmosphere.

Lunar Eclipses in a Nutshell

The lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the earth’s shadow and can only happen at a full moon. One of the major differences between a lunar and solar eclipse is that a lunar eclipse can be viewed from across the entire night side of the earth (depending on weather). Types of lunar eclipses include:

The total lunar eclipse, which occurs when the moon’s travels completely into the earth’s umbra. The moon never complete disappears during a total lunar eclipse.
The partial lunar eclipse, which occurs when the moon is oriented in a way that only part of it dips into the earth’s umbra.
The penumbral lunar eclipse, which occurs when the moon passes through the faint penumbral portion of the earth’s shadow.

There is always a full moon on the night of a lunar eclipse. The eclipse’s type and length depends on the moon’s location relating to its orbital nodes (one or two points where an orbit crosses a plane of reference that it is inclined to). A lunar eclipse has two magnitude values – the penumbral magnitude and the umbral magnitude.

The readings can be taken from observing through naked eye, binoculars and small telescopes. Hope we all get chance to observe, enjoy and photograph the event.

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