June 15, 2011, a full lunar eclipse occured and the world was watching. In South America, observers in eastern Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay have witnessed the eclipse in its totality.
According to National Geographic, online sky-watchers around the world are able to watch the lunar disk turn stunning shades of orange and red as the moon becomes engulfed within the darkest part of Earth’s shadow for almost two hours.
“The path that the moon is taking through Earth’s shadow is almost directly through [the shadow’s] center, making for the longest possible path and so the longest duration,” said Ben Burress, staff astronomer at the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, California.
“The last eclipse that was as long as this one was in 2000, while the next won’t be until 2018, so this makes it a somewhat rare event.“
Lunar Eclipse to Last a Hundred-Plus Minutes
Because of the tilt of the moon’s orbit around Earth, the moon usually passes slightly above or below Earth’s cone-shaped shadow, so no lunar eclipse occurs.
Sometimes, however, the geometry is just right for the moon to cross Earth’s orbital plane—always during a full moon. As all three bodies line up, the moon passes through Earth’s shadow and we see a lunar eclipse.
Partial eclipses happen when the moon grazes Earth’s shadow, while total eclipses occur when the whole moon passes through the shadow.
“The best place to be is where you would be able to view the moon throughout the eclipse—and the higher in the sky it is, the better,” Burress said. “From that standpoint, the best locations for viewing the entire eclipse were in eastern Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and the western tip of Australia.”
For further information about Argentina, please visit www.sayhueque.com