Total Lunar Eclipse 2011 June 16

This total eclipse of the Moon was visible from Australia on the morning of the 2011 June 16. From Melbourne the penumbral phase commenced at 03:23hr (AEST) with the Moon's entry into the umbra commencing about an hour later. Totality started at 05:22 (local time), mid-eclipse at 06:12 with totality ending at 07:03, just 38 minutes prior to moonset at 07:41.

From Bayside Melbourne the eclipse was viewed under ideal conditions until mid-totality when a low band of thin cloud partially obscured the Moon. At this time the Moon all but disappeared from view. My assessment was that the eclipse in the middle stages was significantly darker than usual, the Moon taking on a deep blood-red colour with a very dark centre.  Around two weeks prior, a volcanic eruption in Chile spewed thousands of tonnes of ash into the upper atmosphere which disrupted air travel in southern Australia when the dust plume arrived over Australia in the days leading up to the eclipse. It is well known that such events impact the darkness of lunar eclipses and this appeared to be no exception.

Here's a few images taken with a tripod-mounted Canon 450DH camera and 500mm f/8 mirror lens.


The Moon has just started to enter the umbra.

Taken at 05:03. The sunlit portion is over-exposed to show the delicate umbral shadow colours.

At 05:15 the sunlit portion is shrinking rapidly.

05:20; the sunlit portion has almost gone.

A few minutes after totality began, a beautiful gradation of colours across the lunar disk.


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