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Longest lunar eclipse: when the moon turned red

Jun 16, 2011 07:53 AM IST India India

New Delhi: The moon turned a shade of red on Wednesday diving into the darkest centre of the earth's shadow in the century's longest and darkest lunar eclipse.

This beautiful spectacle was visible all throughout the country. The century's longest total lunar eclipse lasted 100 minutes, starting at just before 1 AM and ending at half past two.

Usually in a lunar eclipse the moon turns brown but in this eclipse the moon turned black and at some places a copper red thanks to the volcanic ashes in the atmosphere.

This eclipse might be well past midnight but that did not stop young or old enthusiasts and eclipse chasers to come out and watch this beautiful celestial marvel.

At Delhi's Nehru planetarium there was almost a carnival to witness this event. Various astronomy clubs had set up their telescopes and were even helping skywatchers to see the moon clearly.

Space - an organization behind astronomical activities in schools also had telescopes and binoculars set up for the enthusiasts.

Apart from other astronomy events around the eclipse space also had something called chand ka langar around the city where they distributed food to the people to burst the myth that you should not eat during an eclipse.

The last eclipse longer than this one occurred in July 2000 and in case you missed this one you will now have to wait till the year 2141 to see an eclipse of this duration.