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A total lunar eclipse visible in Asia and partly in Europe

A total lunar eclipse was visible on Saturday from 2:06 p.m. GMT for about an hour in Asia, Australia and parts of North America, from Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, where the sky is clear.

All the eclipse, including the partial phases, “will be visible from Asia to Australia,” according to the American astronomer Fred Espanak.

In western North America, it will be possible to see much of the eclipse before the moon sets. “In Europe and Africa, observers missed the early stages of the eclipse that will occur before the rising of the moon,” he reported on the website of NASA.

The entire phase will be visible at the extreme eastern Africa, the Horn of Africa and on the banks of the Red Sea.

A lunar eclipse can occur only when the full moon. When the Sun, Earth and Moon are aligned, the moon at night may be temporarily deprived of sunlight if it passes into the umbra of the Earth.

The Moon should be invisible when it is completely in the shadow of the Earth. But it is not. It becomes reddish as the Earth’s atmosphere bends the sun’s rays that graze the earth. The red spectrum of sunlight is the most deviated, it appears reddish in the lunar disk.

The exact color, which ranges from light orange to dark red, depending on the composition (presence of dust …) of the Earth’s atmosphere, solar activity and Earth-Moon distance.

Saturday, “the northern half of the moon should appear darker than the southern half because it will be deeper in the shadows,” said Fred Espanak.

The Moon begins to enter the Earth’s shadow at 24:45 GMT. This shadow, the contours clearly visible to the naked eye, will grow on the lunar disk completely cover up the 2:06 p.m. to 2:57 p.m. GMT. The eclipse will then again be partial to 4:18 p.m. GMT. The Moon will still pass through the cone of shadow of the Earth before returning to full brightness.

Four partial solar eclipses and two total lunar eclipses, including that of December 10, 2011 were planned, a rare combination that will only happen six times in the 21st century.

The next total lunar eclipse will only take place April 15, 2014.

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