Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Next total lunar eclipse for North America is December 10, 2011


The next total lunar eclipse visible in North America is before dawn December 10, 2011. This post has links to info for other parts of the globe, too.

The next total lunar eclipse will come in the early morning hours of December 10, 2011. The bad news is that it’ll be interrupted for us in North America by morning dawn, and the setting of the moon (or the rising of the sun). But the good news is that some of us will see the eclipse when the moon is low in the sky – when the moon might look exceptionally large due to the moon illusion. If that’s you, you’ll see a super-sized eclipse!


The Rocky Mountain states of the U.S. and especially the Pacific Coast states will be able to see a total eclipse before the moon sets. The Midwestern U.S. states and much of Mexico will see a partial eclipse before moonset. Canada is even better positioned. The western half of Canada should have little trouble witnessing all of the December 10, 2011 total eclipse. The eastern and southern parts of North America will see only the beginning stages of the eclipse or no eclipse at all.


This same eclipse will be seen in its entirety from the Pacific side of North America, across the whole Pacific Ocean to Asia, Australia and Eastern Europe. For those observers, it’ll be the night of December 10, 2011 that the eclipse takes place.


There are from four to seven eclipses each year – some partial, some total, some solar, some lunar. But from your location on Earth, you can’t see every eclipse. Total solar eclipses are seen only along a narrow band across Earth’s surface – a swath cut by the moon’s shadow as it sweeps across Earth during the eclipse. Total lunar eclipses are more widely seen. An entire hemisphere of Earth can watch simultaneously as a total lunar eclipse takes place. But you do have to be able to see the moon, and only half of Earth can do that at any one time.

So there are lots of eclipses, but you have to be in the right place on the globe to see them. The next total lunar eclipse easily visible for all of North America will occur on the night of April 14-15, 2014.



No comments:

Post a Comment