Lunar Eclipse as seen in Cagayan de Oro City (thanks to my friend Don for this great shot) on December 10, 2011. It was the second of two total lunar eclipses in 2011, the first having occurred on June 15. This recent eclipse was visible from all of Asia and Australia, seen as rising over Europe and setting over Northwest North America.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes behind the Earth so that the Earth blocks the Sun’s rays from striking the Moon. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle. Hence, a lunar eclipse can only occur the night of a full moon.