Total Eclipse of the Moon: 2011 June 15

Global Circumstances

Global Visibility of the Total Eclipse of the Moon on 2011 June 15

The global visibility of this lunar eclipse is shown in the diagram to the left. A higher quality version of this global plot can be downloaded in pdf format by clicking on this image.

An explanation of this diagram can be found here.


Eclipse Trivia

This lunar eclipse can be seen in its entirety from western China, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Arabia and the eastern half of Africa. Fortunately, about half of the eclipse is visible from parts of the United Kingdom. For most UK observers, the Moon rises close to mid-eclipse when the Moon is already totally eclipsed. However, for observers in Scotland and north-west Ireland, north of a line from Fraserburgh to Londonderry, the Moon will rise after totality has ended and only the partial and penumbral phases of the latter stages of the eclipse will be visible.

As the Moon is close to the southerly limit of its declination range at the time of the eclipse, it will not rise very high in the sky during the night of June 15th/16th. Moonrise in the United Kingdom ranges from 21:09 BST (British Summer Time) in the Channel Islands through to 22:23 BST in the Shetland Islands. As mid-eclipse takes place at 21:12.6 BST and the end of totality at 22:03.0 BST, observers in the southernmost parts of the United Kingdom can expect to see no more than 54 of the 101 minutes of totality, decreasing the further north you travel. Much of the eclipse will take place in the south-eastern part of the sky at an altitude of less than 5° so a clear view of this horizon is vital.

During totality, the Moon is illuminated only by light that has been refracted through the upper part of the Earth's atmosphere, hence the coppery-red colour of the eclipsed Moon. Depending on the amount of obscuring material in the upper atmosphere, the Moon can be quite dark during totality to the point where even identifying the Moon can be difficult. It will be interesting to see if the low altitude of this eclipse combined with the ash from the eruption of the Grimsvötn volcano in Iceland will make the eclipse much redder than usual.

In terms of the duration of totality, this lunar eclipse is the longest since that of July 16th 2000 at 107 minutes. This eclipse is also the fifth longest of the 21st century, the longest being that of July 27th, 2018 at nearly 104 minutes. It is interesting to note that the circumstances of the July 27th 2018 eclipse are a close match to those of the June 15th 2011 eclipse.

Eclipses in 2011

Eclipses within two years of 2011

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