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                                               Total lunar eclipse

It was possible to observe a total lunar eclipse on the night of 15th-16th June.  The Moon moving around the Earth fully immersed in the Earth's shadow for more than an hour and a half. Such a duration of eclipse in June 2011 makes it the longest one for the past 11 years. As the Moon shines with reflected sunlight at immersing in the Earth shade, the moon gets dark and became almost invisible. But it doesn't turn black completely. It happens because the sunlight passed through the stratosphere of the Earth illuminates the moon a little with a red color. The purer the stratosphere and the less is the dust in it, the brighter the moon during the total eclipse. A week before the eclipse, the Chilean volcano eruption threw a huge amount of gases (basically sulfur dioxide) into the atmosphere and the dust that rose to the height of 14 km. Therefore the moon was very dark during the eclipse, especially its southern parts (as the volcano eruption had occurred in the southern hemisphere of the Earth). At first sight it seems strange but the color and brightness of the moon during the eclipse are relevant to the issue of global warming.

 In St. Petersburg it could be possible to observe (if it were not for the overcast sky) only the second part of eclipse. The moon was located in the Ophiuchus constellation ascended in the southeast with azimuth of 145 degrees, at 11:10 p.m. on the 15th of June, in the phase of total eclipse. The moon began to leave the full shade at 01.00a.m on the 16th June. Its height above the horizon at that point was 5 degrees. At 03.00a.m it was completed with 190 degrees azimuth. The next total lunar eclipse could be seen on December 10, 2011 after 5p.m in St. Petersburg.

The moon will be in the Taurus constellation. 

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