Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lunar eclipse viewed from around the world

Sky watchers were treated to a stunning lunar eclipse last night as ash in the atmosphere from a Chilean volcano turned it blood red.

Scientists said the specific phenomenon - known as a 'deep lunar eclipse' - often exudes a coppery colour. But the intensity of the colour depends on the amount of ash and dust in the atmosphere.

Luckily for moon-gazers, there was plenty of ash in the air so the moon appeared orange or red, especially in Asia.

Scroll down for video

The moon, photographed by an observer in Tel Aviv,
exudes a reddish colour during a deep lunar eclipse last night

The lunar eclipse is seen over the Atomium in Brussels
Photograph: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP

The eclipse is seen among cables on the Anzac Bridge in Sydney
Photograph: Tim Wimborne/Reuters

People watch the eclipse from a rooftop in Belgrade
Photograph: Ivan Milutinovic/Reuters

The eclipse seen from Multan, Pakistan
Photograph: S S Mirza/AFP/Getty Images

The view from the village of Zejtun, lit up for its parish church feast 
of Saint Catherine, in the south of Malta
Photograph: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters

The eclipse seen from the Colosseum in Rome
Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

The moon over the Castel dell'Ovo in Naples, Italy
Photograph: Ciro Fusco/EPA

The moon seen from Frankfurt
Photograph: Michael Probst/AP

People view the eclipse from the remains 
of the Temple of Hercules in Amman, Jordan
Photograph: Ali Jarekji/Reuters

A view of the eclipse above the bridge across the River Dnieper in Kiev, Ukraine
Photograph: Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA

The eclipse seen above rooftops in Moscow
Photograph: Maxim Shipenkov/EPA

Air travellers haven't been so lucky: The ash has grounded hundreds of flights around the region.

The dramatic event, the longest total lunar eclipse since 2000, turned the moon blood red for 100 minutes during the period of totality.

People watch the moon from the remains of the Temple of Hercules
Photograph: Ali Jarekji/Reuters

A composite of the eclipse as seen from the east of Beirut, Lebanon
Photograph: Nabil Mounzer/EPA

This graph shows when the total lunar eclipse was visible on Earth

Today's Google Doodle paid tribute to the lunar eclipse with a video graphic

The moon is normally illuminated by the sun. During a lunar eclipse the Earth, sun and moon are in line and the Earth’s shadow moves across the surface of the full moon.

Sunlight that has passed through the Earth’s atmosphere makes the moon appear red, brown or black.

The moon travels to a similar position every month, but the tilt of the lunar orbit means that it normally passes above or below the terrestrial shadow. This means a full moon is seen but no eclipse takes place.

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