First Lunar Eclipse for 2011 today

Wednesday, 15 June 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka will experience its first lunar eclipse for this year on 15 June from 10.54 p.m., Planetarium sources said.

This lunar eclipse will begin at 10.54 p.m. on 15 June and it will end on 4.30 a.m. 16 on June. The total eclipse begins at 12.52 a.m. on 16 June and the point of greatest eclipse occurs at 1.42 a.m. A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes behind the earth so that the earth blocks the sun’s rays from striking the moon.

This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle. Hence, there is always a full moon on the night of a lunar eclipse. The type and length of an eclipse depend upon the Moon’s location relative to its orbital nodes.

Unlike a solar eclipse, which can only be viewed from a certain relatively small area of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of the Earth. A lunar eclipse lasts for a few hours, whereas a total solar eclipse lasts for only a few minutes at any given place. Some lunar eclipses have been associated with important historical events.

The total lunar eclipse on 15 June will be a central eclipse, visible over Europe and South America after sunset, over Africa and most of Asia, and Australia before sunrise.

The Moon could turn red in colour during a total lunar eclipse. It will be one of the darkest eclipse in history and will be second only to the 16 July, 2000 total lunar eclipse because the moon passes almost exactly in front of the centre of the Earth’s shadow.

The most recent total lunar eclipse occurred on 21 December, 2010.