Lunar Eclipse December 10, 2011: Best Times for U.S. Viewing
Many people are interested in viewing a total lunar eclipse and a perfect opportunity for this will take place in December 2011. Those in the western parts of the U.S. and also Canada will be able to see totality of the lunar eclipse although Australia and Asia will have the optimum viewing experience. We have details of the best time to watch the lunar eclipse if you’re in the U.S.
In the early hours of Saturday December 10 the beginning of the eclipse will occur around 4:45am Pacific Time. The very best time to see the total eclipse will be at totality, between the hours of 6:06am and 6:57am Pacific Time, according to Karin Matz of Reuters. This is the second total eclipse seen from the Americas this year and after Saturday’s total lunar eclipse the next one will not take place for almost another three years, on April 15, 2014.
An astronomer with Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, Larry Ciupik, told how if you want to see totality you’ll need to be located somewhere in the western states such as Nevada or California. Residents of Hawaii could also get an amazing look because the moon will be higher in the sky. Ciupik explained, “A total lunar eclipse is where the full moon is immersed in the earth’s shadow.”
You’ll need to be keen to view the December 10 total lunar eclipse though as you will either need to stay up on Friday or have the discipline to get out of bed very early on Saturday morning. Space.com tells how those in Alaska will be able to view the whole of the eclipse and most of it will be viewable from British Columbia. The guidance is that the further south and east you go the more the views will decrease.
According to Sky and Telescope Magazine, “From roughly Arizona to the Dakotas, the moon sets while it’s still totally eclipsed. In the Central time zone the moon sets while still only partially eclipsed, before the total stage even begins. And those farther east miss out completely.” According to msnbc.com if you’re in parts of Canada or the US an extraordinary event may be observed. It’s dubbed a selenelion and means that the sun as well as the eclipsed moon can be seen at the same time. Although this seems to be impossible the report explains exactly how this can occur.
We have also just posted details of how you can watch the total eclipse wherever you are with live coverage. Will you be trying to stay awake to watch the total lunar eclipse tomorrow morning? Why not let us hear your experience of the eclipse by sending us your comments.
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