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You are here: Large total lunar eclipse June 15, 2011

Super-sized and spectacular lunar eclipse on December 10, 2011

In the afternoon on Saturday a total lunar eclipse will be visible from Norway. The rather unusual circumstances will create a magnificent event that lots of people can enjoy. This will be the third total lunar eclipse to take place in Norway in less than one year, but the next one will not be until 2015. There will be a WEBCAST on


Total lunar eclipses can be very beautiful!
Photo: Arne Danielsen /

In the early afternoon on Saturday Dec. 10 the Moon will start to enter the shadow cast by our planet. Even during the total phase some sunlight will reach the Moon. The Moon will therefore not disappear from sight but will probably have a beautiful, red color. This is due to sunlight that passes through the atmosphere on the Earth. This happens where the Sun is setting or rising. The color of both the atmosphere and the eclipsed Moon reflects this.

The conditions of the atmosphere here on the Earth is decisive for the amount of solar light that can reach the Moon and therefore the brightness of the Moon during the eclipse. If the atmosphere has been polluted be large fires, volcanic eruptions or the weather is cloudy in most areas where the Sun is setting or rising, the eclipse becomes dark and grey. In case of unpolluted atmosphere the eclipse will be brighter and Burgundian.

On the Moon there will be a total solar eclipse. The atmosphere of the Earth will be a thin, red ring surrounding the black night side of the Earth.
Illustration: Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard

On the evening of December 10, 2011, we can expect a spectacular, red Moon rising above the horizon! Since the Moon will be hanging low above the horizon it will be an even more impressive sight than normal. In Norway this eclipse could therefore be quite extraordinary!

Important times for this eclipse (MET):
Penumbral eclipse begins: 12:33
Partial eclipse begins: 13:45
Total eclipse begins: 15:06
Total eclipse ends: 15:57
Partial eclipse ends: 17.18
Penumbral eclipse ends: 18.30

In southern areas of Norway the Moon rises during the eclipse and to the southwest of Oslo the first few minutes of the totality will not be visible. It is very important to have good horizon to the Northeast. In northern Norway all phases of the eclipse are visible

Eclipses of the Moon arise when the Moon is entering the shadow of the Earth.
Illustration: Trond Erik Hillestad /

Due to the low position of the Moon the eclipse will appear really impressive. The Moon appears much bigger than normal when rising from the horizon.

Explanation of lunar eclipses from (in Norwegian):

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Contact: Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard, P.O. Box 1029 Blindern, N-0315 Oslo, NorwayPhone: (+47) 992 77 172 Email: