On the night of 15th June 2011 India witnessed longest and darkest lunar eclipse of the century.This was also the darkest lunar Eclipse in almost 100 years as the centres of the sun,the Earth and the moon was nearly on one straight line.
Moon's bright white glow turned crimson brick red when it delved into the dark centre of the Earth's shadow during the centuries longest and darkest lunar eclipse.The full moon appeared much dimmer than usual,but sunlight passing throught the Earth's atmosphere gave the lunar surface a deep reddish hue.
Image :This was the century's longest and darkest total lunar eclipse as the Moon immersed deeply inside the umbral (darker) shadow of the Earth, Nehru Planetarium Director N Rathnasree told PTI.
The total phase of the eclipse lasted 100 minutes. The last eclipse to exceed this duration was in July 2000. The next such eclipse will only take place in 2141. The penumbral lunar eclipse began at 22:54:34 IST and ended at 04:30:45 IST, she said. The total lunar eclipse began at 00:52:30 IST and ended at 02:32:42 IST. While the partial eclipse began at 23:52:56 IST and ended at 03:32:15 IST. As the earth came in between the sun and the moon, its shadow first began sweeping across the moon blocking out much of its bright light and as the shadow descended gently, the moon's face turned red. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth in course of its orbit around the Sun, comes between the Moon and Sun in such a way that Moon is hidden in the shadow cast by Earth. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned in a straight line, C B Devgun from Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) said.