Google Doodle has come to the rescue of people in North America who missed a rare opportunity of witnessing a long lunar eclipse that began on Tuesday night.
The world was treated to a rare display of full lunar eclipse on Tuesday night. The eclipse lasted for over 100 minutes in parts of Asia, Europe and Africa, making it the longest since 2000 and one of the longest on record, according to NASA. The partial eclipse will last for three hours and 40 minutes.
However, North America hasn't been invited to the party as the eclipse will end shortly before 7 p.m. EST.
But Internet search engine giant Google has jumped into action, offering the U.S. people a glimpse of the lunar eclipse at their own leisure, thanks to Google Doodle, which traces the path of the eclipse.
The live doodle matched the real-time eclipse and is being updated every two minutes.
Google had also teamed up with space photography web site Slooh.com to offer a live stream of the entire event on Google's YouTube channel. Space cameras have been positioned in South Africa, Dubai and Canary Islands to capture the beautiful moment. The webcast will be broadcast from 2 to 6 pm, Eastern Standard Time.
Google said the idea of the Doodle and the live stream came naturally.
We're always fascinated by the unique wonders of space and the world—what can we say, it's the geek in us, the company wrote on its blog. We were both excited and disappointed that this rare occasion wouldn't be visible from our Mountain View campus like last year's eclipse.
Incidentally, Slooh's coverage is also sponsored by Paramount Pictures, the producer of the next Transformers film titled Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Unlike solar eclipse, which darkens the moon, a lunar eclipse makes the moon take on an orange or reddish hue because the sun rays are able to pass through the Earth's atmosphere. But as blue colored light is filtered out, a deep glow is cast on the moon.
People in Singapore, India and London have already reported witnessing the beautiful event and have posted several photographs of the moon as it gradually turned red.
The next total lunar eclipse is scheduled to occur in September 2015 and Americans need not worry - the eclipse will be visible in New Jersey and will last for an hour and 15 minutes.
Wednesday marks the first of the two total lunar eclipses that the world will witness this year, with the latest this month set to be seen by millions in the countries located in Asia, the Middle East region, Africa and Australia.
June 15 will feature 2011's first total lunar eclipse
A full lunar eclipse is seen from the village of Marsascala in the south of Malta June 15, 2011.
The view of the total lunar eclipse from Cairo
A lunar eclipse is visible through a gap in storm clouds over Sydney
A shadow falls on the moon during a lunar eclipse as seen from Amman
Google Doodle on full lunar eclipse