A total lunar eclipse will take place in the small wee hours of Saturday, December 10 2011. Only those in the Pacific and Mountain time zones will have a chance to see any of it, since the moon sets before the eclipse becomes total. If you have clear skies and don’t mind getting up at early o’clock, even partial lunar eclipses are spectacular and worth a look as the moon turns dark and reddish.
The eclipse lasts about 3 ½ hours, and the total eclipse lasts 51 minutes. According to EarthSky, here are the times, in 24-hour notation.
10 December partial lunar eclipse begins:
- 12:46 universal time (GMT)
- 04:26 Pacific
- 05:26 Mountain
- 06:26 Central
- 07:26 Eastern
10 December total lunar eclipse begins:
- 14:06 UT/GMT (greatest eclipse begins at 14:32)
- 06:06 Pacific
- 07:06 Mountain
- 08:06 Central
- 09:06 Eastern
10 December total lunar eclipse ends:
- 14:57 UT/GMT
- 06:57 Pacific
- 07:57 Mountain
- 08:57 Central
- 09:57 Eastern
10 December partial eclipse ends:
- 16:18 UT/GMT
- 10:18 Pacific
- 11:18 Mountain
- 12:18 Central
- 13:18 Eastern
Western boondockers in North America will see only the partial eclipse, as the moon sets too early to see the whole event; East Coasters will miss everything. In California, the moon sets at around 04:47 Pacific, in Arizona it sets around 05:46 Mountain, while New York loses the moon at 05:17 Eastern. Viewing opportunities are marked above in italics.
Those in Europe, Australia and Asia will, overall, have a much more satisfying eclipse. Check Weather Underground’s astronomy pages for the times of your own personal moon-set.
However, if you’re in the popular boondocking spots of southern California and Arizona, you should still be able to see the partial eclipse, if you’re willing to get up and brave the chilly night air. And it’s still better than the December 2010 total lunar eclipse that would have been visible across the entire desert southwest if it hadn’t chosen to rain heavily that night.
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