A Winter Solstice total lunar eclipse on December 21, 2010, as seen near greatest eclipse, from Orlando, Florida.
The most recent total lunar eclipse occurred on December 21, 2010 at 0817 UTC during the Winter Solstice. A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes behind the earth so that the earth blocks the sun’s rays from striking the moon. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle. The moon phase is always a Full Moon the night of a lunar eclipse. The type and length of an eclipse depend upon the Moon’s location relative to its orbital nodes.
The next total lunar eclipse will take place on June 15, 2011. It is the first of two total lunar eclipses in 2011, the second occurring on December 10.
It is a relatively rare central eclipse where the moon passes in front of the center of the Earth’s shadow — visible completely over Africa, and Central Asia, visible rising over South America, Western Africa, and Europe, and setting over Eastern Asia, and Australia.
The December 10, 2010 eclipse will be visible from all of Asia and Australia, seen as rising over eastern Europe, and setting over northwest North America.
Lunar Eclipse Photo: Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License