Wednesday, June 15, 2011

All the sky gazers are in for a treat. Bring out your telescopes,  Earth will be immersed deeply inside the umbral shadow of the moon for a whopping 100 minutes! Longest lunar eclipse in the century. The last eclipse is said to last for 40 minutes(July, 2000) and the next wont be till 2018, so this make today's eclipse a rare event.

Path of the eclipse

The lunar eclipse will be raising over South America then will be visible in parts of Europe and Central Asia and seen setting over Eastern Asia, and Australia.
This celestial event won't be visible from North America, unfortunately for Canadian, Mexican, and U.S. eclipse hunters, who will have to wait until December 10, when western parts of the continent will be treated to the next lunar eclipse.

The most spectacular and least predictable part of the eclipse is the color the lunar orb will take on during totality,The redness of the moon during totality depends partly on global atmospheric conditions . That's because the light we see coming from the moon is actually reflected sunlight.

During a total lunar eclipse, Earth blocks the pure white, direct light from the sun. But some indirect light passing through Earth's atmosphere still manages to reach the moon.

Since dust and gases in Earth's atmosphere filter blue wavelengths from sunlight, the remaining light is reddened. The moon will therefore appear to change from brilliant silver to between bright orange and blood red during a lunar eclipse.

How to watch
A simple binocolus or a telescope would do. Naked eye gazing is not recommended!

Apart from the eclipse

A star named 51 Ophiuchi will be occulated during the eclipse. Sky enthusiasts can witness the whole sequence of the occultation in the zodiacal constellation of Ophiuchus