The June 15 total lunar eclipse was one of the longest in recent years. It was also one of the darkest, but not completely dark. Even during totality, a somber, red lunar disk could be seen in the starry night sky, reflecting reddened light falling on to its surface. Seen from a lunar perspective, the ruddy illumination is from all the sunsets and sunrises around the edges of a silhouetted Earth. The total phase of this first lunar eclipse of 2011 lasted an impressive 100 minutes. Parts of the eclipse were visible from most of planet Earth, with notable exceptions of North and Central America.

Below are some spectacular photos of the total lunar eclipse.

Credit: Chris Kotsiopoulos

Credit: Elias Politis

Image Credit: Juan Carlos Casado

Image Credit: Javier Algarra

Image Credit: Babak Tafreshi

Video: A Total Lunar Eclipse Over Tajikistan
Credit: Jean-Luc Dauvergne

Dramatic time lapse video from Tajikistan. During a total lunar eclipse, the Earth moves between the Moon and the Sun, causing the moon to fade dramatically. The Moon never gets completely dark, though, since the Earth's atmosphere refracts some light. As the above video begins, the scene may appear to be daytime and sunlit, but actually it is a nighttime and lit by the glow of the full Moon. As the moon becomes eclipsed and fades, the wind dies down and background stars can be seen reflected in foreground lake. Most spectacularly, the sky surrounding the eclipsed moon suddenly appears to be full of stars and highlighted by the busy plane of our Milky Way Galaxy.

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