Thursday, June 16, 2011

Total Lunar Eclipse

Last night, my mother told me that there will be a lunar eclipse that night, but it could be seen between 3:00 to 5:00 at dawn here. We look at the calendar, and it was a full moon, so there will be a total lunar eclipse that night. Even if I am sick, I set the alarm clock at 3:00 o’clock in the morning for I wanted to see a total eclipse. When the clock alarmed, I got up from the bed, got the sweater on because it was so cold for me, and I went out from the house. Unfortunately, I couldn't see the moon because the thick clouds covered the moon. So, I went back to bed and sleep. Anyway, I searched on Wikipedia about this lunar eclipse, and here’s what I have read from them.

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, a lunar eclipse can only occur the night of a full moon. The type and length of an eclipse depend upon the Moon's location relative to its orbital nodes. The most recent total lunar eclipse occurred on June 15, 2011; it was a central eclipse, visible over Europe and south America after sunset, over Africa and most of Asia, and Australia before sunrise. The previous total lunar eclipse occurred on December 21, 2010, at 08:17 UTC.[1]

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.