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Thursday, 16 June 2011 15:23

"Lunatics" emerge for spectacular red lunar eclipse


It seems that even spectacular events like total solar eclipses of the sun pale into significance compared to the likes of yesterday's lunar eclipse which turned the moon shades of copper to blood red.

After all how can you compare a solar eclipse that you can't even look at without damaging your eyes and only lasts a couple of minutes to a spectacular celestial show, 100 minutes of worry free moon watching?

Hundreds of millions - perhaps billions - the world over have turned out to watch the moon darken and turn various shades of brown to red, as the earth got in the way of the Sun and proceeded to cast it's shadow over the lunar surface.

Australia was one of the best vantage points in the world to watch the first 100-minute plus lunar eclipse in more than decade, with clear skies in many capitals despite reports of volcanic ash from Chile threatening to spoil the party. However, this time the moon did not disappoint and moon watchers were able to drink their fill.

Viewers all over Asia, Africa and Europe also got a bird's eye view but unfortunately the Americas missed out this time.

The fascination with total lunar eclipses is such that there is already discussion about the next one.

According to astronomers, the next lunar eclipse - about half as long as this morning's will be on 10 December this year. The next total solar eclipse will be on 13 November 2012 and the Northern parts of Australia will get a couple of minutes of darkness but who cares?


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Stan Beer


Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.



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