Rare Total Lunar Eclipse Expected On Winter Solstice

December 20, 2010 |  by  |  Breaking News
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Like something straight out of a Hollywood movie, come December 21st in the night sky, the Earth and the sun will cross paths and create a visual unlike anything you’ve ever seen: a total lunar eclipse.

This crimson orb is sure to surprise people who don’t that this ultra rare event (occurring on the Winter Solstice) that comes around only every few thousands years.

Not everyone will be privy to this once in a lifetime event. So, where can you view it?

According the to LA Times:

Weather permitting, sky gazers in North and Central America and a tiny sliver of South America will boast the best seats to this year’s only total eclipse of the moon.

It’ll happen very early in the AM on Tuesday morning (like 3 o’clock), so put a pot of coffee on and set your alarm clock.

Yo may be wondering: why does this phenomenon happen?

The moon is normally illuminated by the sun. During a total lunar eclipse, the full moon passes through the shadow created by the Earth blocking the sun’s light. Some indirect sunlight will still manage to pierce through and give the moon a ghostly color. Since the eclipse coincides with winter solstice, the moon will appear high in the sky – a boon for sky watchers. With recent volcanic eruptions around the globe dumping tons of dust into the atmosphere, scientists predict the moon may appear darker than usual during the eclipse, glowing an eerie red or brown instead of the usual orange-yellow tinge.

The whole shebang should last about 3 1/2 hours — if skies are clear. The show begins at 2:41 a.m. EST Tuesday, but the best time view it is 3:14 a.m.

Happy stargazing!


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