The longest total lunar eclipse since July 2000 will occur on Wednesday (June 15), with skywatchers in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Australia in prime position to witness the moon treat.
The event is the first lunar eclipse of 2011 and one of two total lunar eclipses this year. The eclipse, which will occur during June's full moon, will begin at 1:24 p.m. EDT (1724 GMT) and last until 7 p.m. EDT (2300 GMT), but it will not be visible from North America.
For observers in regions where it will be visible, the eclipse could offer an amazing sight: the period of totality will be 100 minutes. In the last 100 years, only three other eclipses have rivaled the duration of totality of this eclipse, according to SPACE.com's skywatching columnist Joe. Rao. The last lunar eclipse of similar length occured on July 16, 2000 and lasted 107 minutes.
"The entire event will be seen from the eastern half of Africa, the Middle East, central Asia and western Australia," stated the NASA Eclipse Website of the June 15 event. "Observers throughout Europe will miss the early stages of the eclipse because they occur before moonrise." [Video: Inside the June 15 Total Lunar Eclipse]