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Solstice Lunar Eclipse

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

Pretty rare event tonight people who live in North America. There will be a total lunar eclipse PLUS it's the Winter Solstice. Hasn't happened in close to 400 years.

From Nasa website: Everyone knows that "the moon on the breast of new-fallen snow gives the luster of mid-day to objects below."

A similar lunar eclipse in Nov. 2003. Credit: Jim Fakatselis. [more]
That is, except during a lunar eclipse.

The luster will be a bit "off" on Dec. 21st, the first day of northern winter, when the full Moon passes almost dead-center through Earth's shadow. For 72 minutes of eerie totality, an amber light will play across the snows of North America, throwing landscapes into an unusual state of ruddy shadow.

The eclipse begins on Tuesday morning, Dec. 21st, at 1:33 am EST (Monday, Dec. 20th, at 10:33 pm PST). At that time, Earth's shadow will appear as a dark-red bite at the edge of the lunar disk. It takes about an hour for the "bite" to expand and swallow the entire Moon. Totality commences at 02:41 am EST (11:41 pm PST) and lasts for 72 minutes.

If you're planning to dash out for only one quick look -­ it is December, after all -­ choose this moment: 03:17 am EST (17 minutes past midnight PST). That's when the Moon will be in deepest shadow, displaying the most fantastic shades of coppery red.

Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

This sounds awesome. I wish there was a matinee performance!

PamPam2's picture
Posts: 376
Joined: Jan 2009

I am watching the moon rise as i write. I should be able to watch most of the night out my computer room window. Going to be up working on the computer all night so I will be able to watch out the window.

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Phil,

Thanks for letting people know about this- I think it's pretty cool! It's quite rainstormy here in So. Calif. today, so I don't know if it will be visible from here or not. I'll still check it out, though. If it's not, I'm sure it will be able to be seen online somewhere.

Merry Christmas Phil!


maglets's picture
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

our weather is forecasting a clearing.....so it should be spectacular....with snow....


mukamom's picture
Posts: 402
Joined: Oct 2010

on the highway to the hospital at that time..might have to pull over!

Kenny H.'s picture
Kenny H.
Posts: 503
Joined: Aug 2010

Hopefully I'll be asleep. Watch it on tape.

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

To serve the public -

Tomorrow I will drive over to Walmarts and for all those that
missed it this evening, I will reproduce the best I can: "The Mooning".

(I haven't done this in years)


Kathleen808's picture
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Thanks Phil,

Cool that it will only be 8:33 here in Hawaii when it starts so I'll be awake. :) I will check it out.


Sandi1's picture
Posts: 278
Joined: Aug 2008

We saw it, it was awesome. It was also my husband's birthday so we were celebrating, and a lunar eclipse was the perfect ending to a perfect day with the most perfect husband in the world.

Glad to have him around another year !!!

Posts: 1154
Joined: Jun 2010

I saw it! It was beautiful!

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