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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lunar eclipse may be observed over Israel on Saturday

Moon will pass behind the earth at sunset in rare timing, says observatory.

A total eclipse of the moon will be seen in Israel on Saturday, peaking at 4:30 P.M. and lasting just under half an hour. The moon will remain partially eclipsed until about 6:18 P.M., the Bareket observatory in Maccabim said. Saturday’s eclipse is unusual because it will take place at sunset.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes behind the earth, so that the moon, earth and sun are aligned; the earth blocks the sun’s rays from striking the moon. The moon should be completely darkened during a total eclipse, but due to the refraction of sunlight by the earth’s atmosphere, the moon does not completely disappear as it passes through the earth’s shadow. Instead it is lit by a pale shade of orange-red.

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