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The first lunar eclipse of 2011 occurs at the Moon's ascending node in southern Ophiuchus about 7° west of the Lagoon Nebula (M8). The Moon passes deeply through Earth's umbral shadow during this rather long event. The total phase itself lasts 100 minutes. The last eclipse to exceed this duration was in July 2000. The Moon's contact times with Earth's umbral and penumbral shadows are listed below.

Penumbral Eclipse Begins: 17:24:34 UT
Partial Eclipse Begins: 18:22:56 UT
Total Eclipse Begins: 19:22:30 UT
Greatest Eclipse: 20:12:37 UT
Total Eclipse Ends: 21:02:42 UT
Partial Eclipse Ends: 22:02:15 UT
Penumbral Eclipse Ends: 23:00:45 UT

At the instant of greatest eclipse the umbral eclipse magnitude will reach 1.6998 as the Moon's centre passes within 5.3 arc-minutes of the shadow axis. The Moon's southern limb will lay 54.2 arc-minutes from the edge of the umbra while the northern limb will lay 22.3 arc-minutes from the umbra's edge.

Thus, the northern regions of the Moon will probably appear brighter than the southern regions that lie deeper in the shadow. Since the Moon samples a large range of umbral depths during totality, its appearance will change dramatically with time. It is difficult to predict the exact brightness distribution in the umbra so observers are encouraged to estimate the Danjon value at different times during totality.