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100-minute lunar eclipse is rare
by Staff Writers
Washington (UPI) Jun 15, 2011

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

A 100-minute lunar eclipse Wednesday will be the longest and deepest in more than a decade, visible in Europe, South America, Africa and Asia and Australia.

North Americans can see the moon turn stunning shades of orange and red live on nearly a dozen Web sites.

The event -- when the moon passes behind the Earth, blocking the sun's rays from hitting it -- is to begin at 2:22 p.m. EDT, with 100 minutes of total eclipse lasting from 3:22 p.m. to 5:02 p.m.

"The path that the moon is taking through Earth's shadow is almost directly through [the shadow's] center, making for the longest possible path and so the longest duration," Ben Burress, staff astronomer at the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, Calif., told National Geographic.

"The last eclipse that was as long as this one was in 2000, while the next won't be until 2018, so this makes it a somewhat rare event," he said.

Web sites offering live streaming video of the eclipse include Germany's astronation.net, Israel's bareket-astro.com, India's ustream.tv/channel/live-eclipse-streaming, Spain's serviastro.am.ub.es, and South Africa, Dubai and Cyprus images from the Slooh robotic telescope at eclipse.slooh.com.

The next lunar eclipse visible in North America will be Dec. 10. It will rise over Eastern Europe and set over northwest North America. It will also be visible from all of Asia and Australia.

Its total phase will last 51 minutes.

Related Links
Solar and Lunar Eclipses at Skynightly

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LRO to take extreme close-up of eclipse
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Jun 15, 2011
Orbiting about 31 miles above the lunar surface, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft will get a "front-row seat" to the total lunar eclipse on June 15, says Noah Petro, Associate Project Scientist for LRO at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. A lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes into Earth's shadow, and a total lunar eclipse occurs when Earth comp ... read more

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