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Lunar Eclipse Tonight and Winter Solstice 2010: Will You Watch After Kids are in Bed?

lunar eclipse, total lunar eclipse

Lunar Eclipse tonight during Winter Solstice 2010

A total lunar eclipse will be visible across North America tonight, just in time for the longest night of the year.

Depending on where you live, late night December 20 or early morning December 21, the full moon will be darkened by the shadow of the earth as it passes between the moon and the sun.

December 21 is also the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, after which the days will begin to grow longer.  Together total lunar eclipse, we’re in for an especially dark night!

Will you be watching when your kids are asleep?

This will be the first time a lunar eclipse has fallen on the winter solstice since 1638!  And the next one won’t come around again until 2094.  Pretty cool!

The sky extravaganza in the sky doesn’t end there either.  The Ursids meteor shower will also be taking place tonight.

North and Central America should both be able to view the entire eclipse, which is estimated to take about 3.5 hours.

Total eclipse will begin at 11:41 p.m. PST on Monday, or 2:41 a.m. EST on Tuesday.  So, if you want to set an alarm to catch a brief glimpse of the amber moon, NASA recommends 3:17 a.m. EST (12:17 am PST), to get the best view.

I wouldn’t suggest waking your kids up for them to watch too otherwise you’ll have some cranky kids and a long day ahead!

Photo: Jenny Rollo

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