December 21: Winter Solstice and Total Lunar Eclipse

Welcome winter's arrival on Tuesday, December 21, with your favorite backcountry winter activity, food, and drink. Here in the Northern Hemisphere the winter solstice occurs at 6:38 p.m. (EST). Raise an insulated mug of camp coffee, hot cocoa, or your favorite backcountry beverage in honor of snow and ice.


(Image credit: Fred Espenak, www.mreclipse.com)

Also, in the early hours of Tuesday the 21st, there will be a total lunar eclipse. In case you've forgotten, a lunar eclipse is when the full moon passes through part or all of the Earth's shadow. Depending on the Earth's atmosphere, the color of the eclipse can be bright orange, blood red, dark brown, or dark gray.

This eclipse will be total. You can find times for its phases in Europe, North America, and the Pacific on www.mreclipse.com. In the Eastern Time Zone, the partial eclipse starts at 1:33 a.m. on December 21. The total eclipse portion, when the moon is completely covered by the Earth's shadow, starts at 2:41 a.m. and ends at 3:53 a.m. The eclipse event ends at 5:01 a.m.

Check out a 2007 total lunar eclipse in the video below. Even better, set your alarm Monday night, hope for clear skies, and watch the real deal up above.

More info on the 2010 total lunar eclipse on mreclipse.com and NASA.gov.


Filed under: Events

Comments

GaryPalmer
210 reviewer rep
4,349 forum posts
December 19, 2010 at 3:51 a.m. (EST)

Cool, just saw this too on Yahoo news when I came online. Thanks, Alicia for sharing!

mikemorrow
344 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts
December 19, 2010 at 5:46 p.m. (EST)

As this is a very important day I will be out there for it!

GaryPalmer
210 reviewer rep
4,349 forum posts
December 20, 2010 at 12:30 a.m. (EST)

I hope to film it. Check out my video I shot this evening as the clouds pass the moon. Its in Off Topic...

denis daly
87 reviewer rep
1,098 forum posts
December 20, 2010 at 12:34 a.m. (EST)

Looking forward to this awesome event!

fenris
28 reviewer rep
12 forum posts
December 20, 2010 at 8:50 a.m. (EST)

My question is what side of the airplane do I sit on to watch it? I'm traveling from Maine to Punta Arenas, Chile, so I'm going to also get the shock of moving from shortest day to longest day.

 

Isn't there a meteor shower too?

TimmyMac
38 reviewer rep
13 forum posts
December 20, 2010 at 10:08 a.m. (EST)

I'm trying to decide if it's worth waking my kids up to check this out.  On the one hand, it's cool and rare, but on the other, one of 'em has a social studies test the next day and might need his sleep. 

I'm such a lame dad.

GaryPalmer
210 reviewer rep
4,349 forum posts
December 20, 2010 at 10:41 a.m. (EST)

Go to "Astronomy Picture of the Day" on your PC to see what this NASA website has to say about the eclipse tonight. Sorry I don't know the link.

GaryPalmer
210 reviewer rep
4,349 forum posts
December 20, 2010 at 2:49 p.m. (EST)

Winter Solstice  (from Yahoo news)

For the first time in 372 years, the winter equinox and a total lunar eclipse happen on the same day, and North America is one of the best spots to view

http://whoknew.news.yahoo.com/?vid=23549392

mikemorrow
344 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts
December 20, 2010 at 3:52 p.m. (EST)

Timmy Dont be lame! Wake up the kids. Thats what cool dads do! This eclipes is too important event to miss for a lame test. Keep the kids home tomorrow and they will be able to make up the test. Or just tell the teacher your plans.

mikemorrow
344 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts
December 20, 2010 at 8:03 p.m. (EST)

Look at it this way. If your kid is 5 years old....It would be his or hers great great great grand kids that could ever see this again. Talk about a family tradition! LOL

BigSmoke
33 reviewer rep
201 forum posts
December 20, 2010 at 10:32 p.m. (EST)

I will be up with my 11 year old checking it out. He is really into this kind of thing, which I love.

denis daly
87 reviewer rep
1,098 forum posts
December 20, 2010 at 10:38 p.m. (EST)

yes I am quit excited to see something so great and historic.

gonzan
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,149 forum posts
December 20, 2010 at 10:52 p.m. (EST)

I am REALLY bummed, it's all clouds here in SE TN tonight. GRRR!

denis daly
87 reviewer rep
1,098 forum posts
December 20, 2010 at 10:54 p.m. (EST)

Its a nice cloud moveing evening here in Virginia. Real wintery preatty.

GaryPalmer
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4,349 forum posts
December 20, 2010 at 11:14 p.m. (EST)

So far its very overcast here above Flagstaff too. Will see at 11 pm. 90% chance of rain tonight. Its 9:15 pm now.

BigSmoke
33 reviewer rep
201 forum posts
December 20, 2010 at 11:17 p.m. (EST)

Crystal Clear here in Northern VA. I am going to go out and take a couple test shots with the 18-200 lens.

mikemorrow
344 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts
December 20, 2010 at 11:23 p.m. (EST)

Rain on the Oregon coast

denis daly
87 reviewer rep
1,098 forum posts
December 20, 2010 at 11:39 p.m. (EST)

You think we grown adults could be more like kids on christmas. LOL

GaryPalmer
210 reviewer rep
4,349 forum posts
December 21, 2010 at 1:41 a.m. (EST)

This was the video shot I got here in Flagstaff, its not clear enough for my video Camera to focus on. I shot this at 11:50 pm.

It still overcast here, but I can see the moon and it looks like its starting to get shaded on the southeastern edge. But not clear enough to get a good focus on it. Its 11:40pm now.

Yes, I just looked again, its definetely started to shade on one side, but still too cloudy to see more than a blur. Can't focus on the moon. 11:50 pm

Now its almost half covered at 11:55. Says it should be 1 am before its total, but shouldn't take one more hour to do that unless it slows down.

No its too foggy to see clearly, my camera won't focus, looks like a full moon thru the viewing screen but to my eyes its definetely about 3/4 shadowed. Its 12:10 am


Red-Moon-at-107-am-Dec-21-2010.jpg

I just shot this image as it barely came out for a split second or two at 1:07 am I could barely see it with my eye as I aimed the camera at it, I clicked a couple frames as it faded out and is just barely visable now. To my eye, it looks grey.

BigSmoke
33 reviewer rep
201 forum posts
December 21, 2010 at 2:41 a.m. (EST)

It's a beautiful orange. The earth just completely blocked so the colors are pretty good right now.

Alicia
TRAILSPACE STAFF
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3,166 forum posts
December 21, 2010 at 7:31 a.m. (EST)

Too cloudy here. I set my alarm anyway, just to check.

Thanks for sharing pictures, Gary.

TimmyMac
38 reviewer rep
13 forum posts
December 22, 2010 at 2:35 p.m. (EST)

It was too cloudy here, too.  I had decided to wake up the kids, but the clouds hosed us.  The downside was that I was then already awake and couldn't fall back asleep, so I meditated by candlelight for a bit and felt all deep until I conked back out.

denis daly
87 reviewer rep
1,098 forum posts
December 22, 2010 at 6:44 p.m. (EST)

It was cloudy here in south virginia as well. So Gary's picture is what I got. But I did stay up and then the big let down. Gary thanks for the picture and my friends who coouldn't see as well told me to pass that on!

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