Did you miss the Lunar Eclipse? Watch time lapse video!
Last night (in the early morning hours of December 21, 2010) there was a total lunar eclipse – meaning that the sun, moon, and earth are lined up exactly so that the Earth’s shadow covers the moon, thereby causing an eclipse! The event took place between 1:33am and 5am early Tuesday morning.
Many lunar eclipses are only partial, but last nights was a total eclipse, and to add to that, it was very special for a two reasons – first, it was the last lunar eclipse of 2010 – second, and much more interesting, it was the first lunar eclipse that has coincided with the 2010 winter solstice (the astronomical start of winter when the earth’s tilt is farthest from the sun) in over three hundred and seventy years (since 1638)! The next one that occurs on a winter solstice will not occur until December 21, 2094 according to NASA. The next total lunar eclipse (not on a winter solstice) will be visible in the United States on April 15, 2014.
In case you missed it, the below video shows a time lapse of the event. You’ll notice at one point that the moon looks like it turns red – this is part of what happens with the moon moves into the Earth’s shadow and indirect light is filtered through Earth’s atmosphere causing a glow on the moon. The effect is very cool.