The longest and darkest total lunar eclipse of the century will occur tomorrow, giving sky enthusiasts all over the country an opportunity to witness the event. An unusually long lunar eclipse with the Moon immersed deeply inside the darker shadow of the Earth will occur tomorrow which will be the longest total lunar eclipse since July 2000 will occur on Wednesday (June 15), with skywatchers in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Australia in prime position to witness the moon treat.
The event is the first lunar eclipse of 2011 and one of two total lunar eclipses this year. The eclipse, which will occur during June’s full moon, will begin at 1:24 p.m. EDT (1724 GMT) and last until 7 p.m. EDT (2300 GMT), but it will not be visible from North America. And the time in India would be from 00:52:30 IST and will end at 02:32:42 IST, the partial eclipse will begin at 23:52:56 IST and end at 03:32:15 IST as per The Hindu.
For observers in regions where it will be visible, the eclipse could offer an amazing sight: the period of totality will be 100 minutes. In the last 100 years, only three other eclipses have rivaled the duration of totality of this eclipse. The last lunar eclipse of similar length occurred on July 16 2000 and lasted 107 minutes.
The darkness of the total lunar eclipses of this type is used as a measure of the earth’s atmospheric pollution. The light rays from the sun get refracted by dust particles in the earth’s atmosphere to produce a somewhat reddish tint to the earth’s shadow giving a brownish-red color to the eclipsed moon instead of full darkness. The level of darkness of the eclipsed moon is used as an indicator of the level of atmospheric pollution.