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

Large total lunar eclipse June 15, 2011

On June 15, only two weeks after the eclipse of the midnight Sun a very long lasting total lunar eclipse occurs. The totality lasts for 1 hour 40 minutes, the largest one in 11 years. From Norway only the southern half of the country can enjoy the impressive view of the eclipsed Moon coming up over the horizon. A red or brownish Moon can be expected during the eclipse. To the north of the Arctic Circle the Moon is not visible.



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

The Moon will be rising in the southeast (SE) a while after the totality has started. It is therefore important to have an unobscured view in that direction. Total lunar eclipses occurs when the Moon is crossing the shadow cast by the Earth. Some light from the Sun penetrates the atmosphere of the Earth and is scattered onto the Moon giving it the (usually) red color. From the surface of the Moon we would have experienced a total solar eclipse. Surrounding the black night side of the Earth, the atmosphere on the Earth would have been visible as a thin red ring. The red circle is where the Sun is rising or setting on the Earth. The color of the eclipsed Moon therefore reflects the colors of all the sunsets and sunrises of the Earth!

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. This time it will be quite interesting to see if the large eruptions on Iceland and in Chile will have any effect.

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 June 15, 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: 19:24
Partial eclipse begins: 20:22
Total eclipse begins: 21:22
Total eclipse ends: 23:02
Partial eclipse ends: 00.02
Penumbral eclipse ends: 01.00

The eclipse will be easy to watch from the time that the Moon is rising. On locations with exceptionally good horizon parts of the eclipsed Moon may become visible earlier. The Moon is rising at 22:31 in Oslo, 22:24 in Fredrikstad, 22:36 in Hønefoss, 22:46 in Lillehammer, 22:26 in Sandefjord, 22:25 in Arendal, 22:25 in Kristiansand, 22:42 in Stavanger, 22:59 in Bergen, 23:08 in Førde, 23:02 on Røros, 23:26 in Kristiansund, 23:20 in Trondheim, 23:36 in Namsos and 00:27 in Mo i Rana.

Further north the eclipse will not be visible because the Moon is not above the horizon. The southeast parts of Southern Norway will have the best view of this eclipse.

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

The eclipse as it may be visible from Oslo at the moment that the Moon is rising.
Illustration: Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard

This eclipse is unusually deep and the Moon will move almost straight through the middle of the shadow from the Earth.
Illustration: NASA/Fred Espenak

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: