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Entries in Lunar Eclipse (2)

Saturday
Dec102011

Western U.S. Sees Last Lunar Eclipse of 2011

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Those in the right place at the right time Saturday morning received a special viewing – the last lunar eclipse of 2011.

Around 6 a.m. pacific time, the moon was completely consumed by the earth's shadow.

Michael Eckert, a senior branch forecaster with the National Weather Service said states in the western and northcentral United States would have the best view of the moon as it turns a dark, rusty red.

Totality -- when the moon is completely consumed by Earth's shadow -- began at 6:06 a.m. Pacific time Saturday, and ended at 6:57 a.m.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec202010

Only Lunar Eclipse of 2010 Takes Place Monday Night

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Barring cloudy weather, astronomy enthusiasts and sky gazers across North America will be treated to the only lunar eclipse of the year Monday night.

The eclipse will be visible Monday evening on the West Coast and during the early hours Tuesday on the East Coast.

If the sky is clear, experts say the show might be extra spectacular, as the moon will have a reddish glow.

A lunar eclipse takes place when the sun, Earth, and moon are all perfectly aligned with the Earth in the middle. When the moon passes behind the Earth, the sun's rays are blocked from striking the moon. This can only occur when the moon is full.

As the moon moves deeper into Earth's shadow, indirect sunlight passes through Earth's atmosphere, casting an orange and red hue over the moon.

Unlike a solar eclipse, which can only be seen for a few moments from any specific spot, a lunar eclipse can be viewed for several hours. It is also safe to view a lunar eclipse without special glasses or equipment.

According to NASA, the total phase should last about three and a half hours when it begins as a partial eclipse at 1:33 a.m. ET and it will finish at 5:01 a.m. ET. The totality phase -- when the moon is entirely inside Earth's shadow -- will last approximately 72 minutes.

This year's only lunar eclipse actually coincides with the winter solstice, meaning that the moon will appear high in the night sky, aiding visibility for revelers.

There will be two total lunar eclipses in 2011 -- one in June and one in December. North America will miss the June show and witness only a part of next December's eclipse.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 







ABC News Radio