Lunar Eclipse

A lunar eclipse takes place when the earth is between the Sun and the Moon and are exactly aligned or come very close.This blocks the sun's rays from reaching the moon.The type and duration of the eclipse depend upon the Moon's location relative to its orbital nodes.

The lunar eclipse can be viewed from anywhere on the night side of the Earth,which lasts for few hours,however the solar eclipsed is viewed only from a limited area and for a small duration.Some lunar eclipses have been associated with important historical events.Every year there are at least two lunar eclipses

Umbra & Penumbra

The shadow of the earth which falls on the moon is divided in to two catagories ie umbra and penumbra.There is no direct radiation of the sun within the umbra region.Due to the huge size of the Sun,the solar illumination is partially blocked in th outer portion of the Earth's shadow,which is named as penumbra.

Penumbral Eclipse
The time when the moon passes through the penumbra of the earth,the penumbral eclipse takes place,resulting in the subtle darkening of the lunar surface.When the Moon lies totally in the penumbra of the earth,it is a special situation called 'Total penumbral eclipse'.However such situations are very rare.During the total penumbral eclipse the portion of the Moon closest to the umbra appears to be darker than the rest part.

Partial Lunar Eclipse

This takes place when a part of the Moon enters in to the umbra of the Earth.

Total Lunar Eclipse
This occurs when the Moon passes entirely in to the Erth's umbra,however the total eclipses are rare.


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Nature's grand spectacle on the night of June 15 can be witnessed,when there will occur one of the longest total lunar eclipses of the century.As per the astronomers,this will be visible almost everywhere in the world except in North America.The eclipse will begin at 10:22pm when the Earth's dark shadow will start eclipsing the full moon disc and finish at 02:02am.The total duration of eclipse will be three hours and 40 minutes.

This will be one of the two longest total lunar eclipses of the century.Due to the difference of the day and night,the people in the world would get to see the eclipse at different times.On 15th June 2011,the African and Europian will see the eclipse sometime between sunset and midnight.Immediate after this, the Asians,the people in the Middle East,Australia and New Zealand will see it after the midnight.

As per the astronomers,all together 85 total lunar eclipses will occur in this century and the longest total lunar eclipse will take place on July 27,2018,which will be three minutes longer than the June 15 eclipse. There are about 2000 eclipses occured in last 400 years.

The geometry of lunar eclipse

The Beliefs

In some parts of th world,the people believe that lunar and solar eclipses are the punishments given to the planets for the sins committed by human beings.Some of the astrologers also believed that an eclipse has irrefutable consequences if it touches a key planet in a person's birth chart.

Many people observe fast during the period of eclipse and take a sacred bath after the eclipse is over.It is also believed that no new project should be taken up during this period.It is also said that the eclipse should not be seen with naked eyes.