Total Lunar Eclipse Visible on the night of December 20-21

Lunar Eclipses are really amazing. The  one coming up on the date of the 2010 winter solstice starts rather late at night (around 1:30 AM on Tuesday the 21st of December if you live in the US eastern time zone), and takes about an hour to reach totality at roughly 2:41 AM. The moon will start leaving the earth’s shadow at about 3:53 AM.

The moon will actually enter the earth’s penumbra (partial shadow) about an hour or so earlier, but it’s hard to see.

Sometimes, the eclipsed moon is a bright coppery color. Other times it appears blue-ish, or brown. Other times it’s nearly totally invisible. Its exact appearance to the naked eye depends on how deeply it enters the earth’s total shadow, as well as on what’s going on in the earth’s atmosphere. Will our various levels of air bend enough light to illuminate the moon, or will our atmosphere be too full of dust and dirt to do so? You can only find out if you get up to watch it yourself.

A couple of web pages to peruse for further information:



Published in: on December 18, 2010 at 4:19 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. […] There is a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, and like any concentration of mass it exerts gravitational force on the rest of the galaxy. However, the galactic center is very far away, approximately 30,000 light years, so it has negligible effects on our solar system and Earth. There are no special forces from the galactic plane or the galactic center. The only important force that acts on the Earth is the gravitation of the Sun and Moon. As far as the influence of the galactic plane, there is nothing special about this location. The last time the Earth was in the galactic plane was several million years ago. Claims that we Nice related topic here: In addition you can check out this related post:… […]


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