Skywatchers enjoy lunar eclipse

10 Dec

Refracted sunlight can turn the Moon a spectacular shade of red

 

Skywatchers have begun enjoying the last total lunar eclipse until 2014.

The spectacle, which occurs when the earth casts its shadow over the moon, will be visible from Australia, Asia and North America.

But indirect sunlight can still illuminate the Moon, turning it a dramatic shade of red.

The shadow started to fall at 11:33 GMT; the spectacle ends after 17:30 GMT. The total eclipse will last 51 minutes eight seconds

The action began unfolding on Saturday night (local time) in Australia and Asia, where views are set to be the best.

Viewers in the western half of the US will have the best views on Saturday well before dawn (Pacific and Mountain Standard Time).

The further west they are, the better.

This is the second total lunar eclipse this year; the first occurred in June.

Stargazers will have to settle for partial eclipses of the Moon until 2014, say astronomers.

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