The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand announced Tuesday that people can witness the first total lunar eclipse in four years on June 16, 2011, particularly those living in the country’s northern resort Chiang Mai Province, Thai news agency reports.
Dr. Saran Posayajinda , deputy chief of Thailand’s National Astronomical Research Institute, said that, as previous ones, the new total lunar eclipse will result from the alignment of the Sun, the Earth and the Moon and it will happen for a very long time.
Dr. Saran acknowledged that the Moon will start to be in the shadow of the Earth at 01:22:37am on June 16 (Thailand’s time) and the total eclipse is expected for as long as one hour, 40 minutes and 52 seconds from 02:22:11am to 04:03:22am.
The total period of the June 16 lunar eclipse, from its start, will be as long as three hours and 39 minutes; so, it will be the longest lunar eclipse.
During the eclipse, if the sky is clear and dark, people can see the brick-red Moon in the southwest, about 30 degrees from the horizon. The Moon will appear brick-red because sunlight, refracted by the atmosphere of the Earth, can reach the Moon.
Dr. Saran said that people in Chiang Mai can also see the Milky Way on the full moon night when the Moon is totally in the shadow of the Earth, and that the next lunar eclipse is expected on December 10, 2011. The previous total lunar eclipse was seen in Thailand on March 3, 2007.
The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand reported that the partial lunar eclipse will end at 5:02am on June 16 when the Moon is 11 degree above the horizon in Bangkok, and that people in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the western part of the Pacific Ocean can see the new lunar eclipse simultaneously.
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