When was the last lunar eclipse?

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    The last total lunar eclipse occured on December 10th, 2011. There won’t be another total lunar eclipse visible from the Americas until April 15th, 2014. I specified “total” because there are 3 separate types of lunar eclipse – total, partial, and penumbral. A total solar eclipse occurs rarely because the sun moon and earth do not orbit in a pefectly straight horizontal plane, so the number of times that they all line up perfectly is a little smaller. A partial eclipse occurse when only part of the Earth’s shadow covers up the moon. A penumbral eclipse occurs when the moon is sitting in the penumbral shadow of the earth, not it’s umbral shadow. The penumbra is not as deep of a shadow.

    It also matters where on Earth you are. For instance, if you live in Africa, the last visible total lunar eclipse was on February 21st, 2008. The next visible total lunar eclipse would be visible on June 15th, 2011. Your position on Earth matters because of it’s curve and simply where the moon is visible at any one time.

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