A total lunar eclipse isn’t a very rare event, as each time it is visible from around a half of the globe, unlike the total solar eclipses which are limited to a narrow path. On average*, one can see a total lunar eclipse every two years, without traveling, provided the weather is good. Usually, the duration of totality rarely exceeds 100 minutes.
However, not each time the Moon passes through the centre of Earth’s shadow – then it’s called a central eclipse. They are the darkest eclipses and are relatively rare. The upcoming lunar eclipse of July 27 will be one of such exceptions, being, in fact, the longest total eclipse in the 21st century. Below is a brief list of such eclipses.
July 16, 2000
Visible from Australia, East Asia and the Pacific.
Duration 108 minutes; umbral magnitude 1.773;
Moon located in Sagittarius (RA 19h75m, Dec -21.2°)
The weather was good across the most of Australia, Indonesia, and parts of China, while the rest of South-Eastern Asia and Korea were under monsoon influence.
June 15, 2011
Visible from Africa, Asia, Australia and most of Europe.
Duration 100 minutes; umbral magnitude 1.705;
Moon located in Ophiuchus (RA 17h59m, Dec -23.2°), 15° east of Antares
July 27, 2018
Visible (similarly) from Africa, Asia, Australia and most of Europe.
Duration 104 minutes; umbral magnitude 1.614;
Moon located in Capricornus (RA 20h47m, Dec -19°), 6° north of Mars;
Mars in Great Opposition.
Astrosafari expedition is planned to southern Turkey.
June 26, 2029
Visible from South America, Africa, most of N America and southwestern Europe.
Duration 102 minutes; umbral magnitude 1.849;
Moon located in Sagittarius (RA 18h35m, Dec -23.3°), near λ Sgr
July 7, 2047
Visible from Australia, the Pacific (incl. Asian coast) and most of North & South America
Duration 102 minutes; umbral magnitude 1.757;
Moon located in Sagittarius (RA 19h11m, Dec -22.6°), near σ Sgr and 13° east of Saturn
Note. The following eclipses are omitted: 2076 Jun 17 (100min), 2094 Jun 28 (102min), 2105 May 28 (102min), 2112 Jul 09 (100min).
June 9, 2123
Visible from the Americas, New Zealand and Africa (except for eastern)
Duration 106 minutes; umbral magnitude 1.753;
Moon located in Ophiuchus (RA 17h13m -22.8°), 15° east of Antares;
Mars and Jupiter near conjunction (26′ on June 2nd), although far from the Moon, in the west.
*In a three hundred year period (1869-2168) there are 159 total lunar eclipses visible from Vienna, 156 from Kyiw, 154 from Nairobi, 149 from San Francisco, 151 from Buenos Aires. See the Five Millennium Canon.
Maps made by Xavier Jubier.