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Partial Lunar Eclipse June 26, 2010

Tonight a partial lunar eclipse will be visible in many areas of the United States. An eclipse occurs when the earth blocks the light from the sun onto the moon.  An eclipse can either be a partial or total event.

In Florida and the lower eastern US, the partial eclipse will begin at around 3:00am EDT.  And the greatest eclipse will coincide when the moon is setting at around 5:30 am EDT, creating the effect known as the Moon Illusion.

The Moon Illusion is called this because, as the moon nears the horizon, either rising or setting, it has the horizon and either buildings, trees, hills or some object as a reference point to compare it with, making the moon appear larger.

Because of this affect, the view of the eclipse in the southern regions of the United States will be spectacular, as the moon will exhibit a reddish glow.  This glow is created by the sun’s light passing through earth’s atmosphere, where it is scattered when passing through particles contained in the atmosphere.  The amount of particles that the sun’s light must pass through, determines had red the glow.  With recent volcanic eruptions we have experienced this may well be worth the effort of getting up early.

The next lunar eclipse will be on December 21, 2010.

For more information visit the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Eclipse website.

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