India to witness darkest lunar eclipse June 15

June 3rd, 2011 - 6:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, June 3 (IANS) The darkest total lunar eclipse of this century, which will be visible throughout India, will occur June 15, an official of the Nehru Centre said here Friday.

On the night of June 15, the sun, earth and moon will come in a straight line and the earth’s shadow will eclipse the full moon passing through it.

As the moon slips into the earth’s “umbra” (dark shadow), it will slowly assume a coppery red colour, making it a not to be missed spectacle.

The lunar eclipse will start at 23:53 p.m. and end at 03:32 a.m. on June 16, and will be visible all over India, the Middle East, southern Europe and northern Africa.

This will be the darkest lunar eclipse over the Indian skies this century. The previous darkest lunar eclipse took place four decades back, on Aug 6, 1971.

The year’s second and final lunar eclipse will occur Dec 10, but it will be visible only in Eurasia, Australia and north-western parts of North America.

Weather conditions permitting, since monsoon is just starting on the sub-continent, the Nehru Centre and other scientific organisations shall make special arrangement to enable people view the total lunar eclipse.

Earlier this year, two solar eclipses have also occurred but they were not visible in India.

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