Skygazers All Set To Witness Lunar Eclipse This Month

December 18th, 2010 - 7:48 pm ICT by GD  

By Meena Kar
lunarDec 18, (THAINDIAN NEWS) A full eclipse of the moon would be visible all over North and Central America on Monday from 11:41 p.m. PST till 12:53 a.m. Tuesday. It would be the first such eclipse in nearly 3 years. Skywatchers can also expect meteor showers, NASA officials have revealed.

Weather observers would find the moon entering the Earth’s inner shadow, at around 10:33 p.m. It would seem like a red-brown shadow moving across the bright moon. The shadow is supposed to have a curved edge, because of the fact that the Earth is round. The sky would become darker as this shadow extends itself across the moon. The stars would get visible as the reflected sunlight fades away from the moon. The entire eclipse is supposed to last for 72 minutes, after which the moon would start emerging from behind the Earth’s shadow, and would be totally out by 2:01 a.m. Since sunrises and sunsets all over the world scatter as well as refract the sunlight, the moon usually appears bright and coppery orange, or at times brown or reddish-black- all of which depends upon the amount of pollution present in the atmosphere.

The most recent total lunar eclipse occurred on the night of Feb. 20, 2008. Unlike a solar eclipse, that is visible from just a few places on the Earth, a lunar eclipse could be seen from just anywhere on that side of the Earth which faces the moon at that time. The next eclipse of the moon is supposed to occur on June 15, 2011, but unfortunately North America would be facing the wrong side. Another eclipse, supposed to take place on Dec. 10, 2011, would be interrupted by moonset and sunrise. The next total eclipse of the moon, to be seen by the whole continent would not occur until April 14-15, 2014.

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