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Lunar eclipse, winter solstice to coincide

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default Lunar eclipse, winter solstice to coincide

Post by Adrian on 19th December 2010, 5:21 pm




A world map of lunar eclipse visibility. Tuesday's lunar eclipse, expected to occur in the early hours of Tuesday morning, will fall on the same day as the winter solstice for the first time since AD 1554. (Fred Espenak, NASA)

This year's winter solstice on Tuesday will fall on the same day as a full lunar eclipse for the first time in 456 years.

The rare, 72-minute lunar eclipse — when the sun, the Earth and the moon align — will begin in the early morning hours on Dec. 21 in North America, and should cast an amber glow on snowy landscapes, said NASA.

If you were to stand on the moon's surface looking up at the sky, you would see Earth hanging above, nightside down, and completely hiding the sun behind it.

Rather than being completely dark, the Earth's rim would appear as if it were on fire. Around its circumference, you would be seeing every sunrise and every sunset in the world at the same time. This surrounding light will actually beam right into Earth's shadow, giving it a rusty glow.

From the Earth, the moon would appear as a giant red orb because the only sunlight visible is refracted through the Earth's atmosphere.

The moon will pass through the darkest part of the Earth's shadow. Tuesday marks the first day of winter in the northern hemisphere, and the winter solstice begins in the evening at 6:38 p.m. ET, which is 8:08 p.m. NT, 7:38 p.m. AT, 5:38 p.m. CT, 4:38 p.m. MT, and 3:38 p.m. PT.

Scientists said the last time a full lunar eclipse coincided with the winter solstice was in AD 1554. NASA forecasts that at 1:33 a.m. ET on Tuesday, "Earth's shadow will appear as a dark red bite at the edge of the lunar disk."

After roughly an hour, that "bite" will eventually grow to cover the whole moon. That stage, known as "totality," will probably start at 2:41a.m. ET and last 72 minutes.

As for the best time to witness the cosmic event, NASA suggests being outside at 3:17a.m., "when the moon will be in deepest shadow, displaying the most fantastic shades of coppery red."

Although the arrival of the solstice cannot be seen, the moment describes the instant when the Earth's axial tilt is farthest away from the sun, resulting in the shortest day of the year as well as the longest night of the year.


Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/12/17/lunar-eclipse-winter-solstice-coincide.html#ixzz18ZyAbXI7


Last edited by Badger on 19th December 2010, 5:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

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default Re: Lunar eclipse, winter solstice to coincide

Post by Guest on 19th December 2010, 5:30 pm

Thanks Badger, I was going to post something on this to point out that the solstice and the lunar eclipse coincided this year and the moon is just one day off its highest in the sky too. So it should be really bright! Cool

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default Re: Lunar eclipse, winter solstice to coincide

Post by mr_sfstk8d on 20th December 2010, 3:45 am

I know where I'll be Tuesday morning.
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default Re: Lunar eclipse, winter solstice to coincide

Post by Compostwoman on 20th December 2010, 6:10 pm

Grrr. Raging snowstorm here all day and thick cloud....unlikely to be able to see over the fence, let alone the eclipse!

Blast and damn.

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 20th December 2010, 6:35 pm

Does it matter if you can see the eclipse or not? I mean is the spiritual significance contingent on visual confirmation?

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Post by Compostwoman on 20th December 2010, 6:38 pm

Well I wanted to see it.. .and not terribly big on the spiritual significance tbh. The Solstice itself, yes....wheel of the year turning and all that... Cool

but just was looking forward to seeing the partial eclipse, from down in the wood.... Crying or Very sad

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default Re: Lunar eclipse, winter solstice to coincide

Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 20th December 2010, 6:50 pm

Get CM to replicate it for you with two saucepan lids of differing sizes, some aftershave and a lighter.

Hell I think I may do that in fact.

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Post by Compostwoman on 20th December 2010, 6:53 pm

We have already been simulating it with a torch, a ping png ball on string and a tennis ball..... Very Happy

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default Re: Lunar eclipse, winter solstice to coincide

Post by Adrian on 20th December 2010, 7:27 pm

oh poop
It looks like its going to be a snowy night here as well, I had planned to get up and watch the eclipse, just for the hell of seeing a lunar eclipse through my telescope, but not if its going to be blizzarding at 4am, not when I can be in bed snuggled in with my hunny bunny


Last edited by Badger on 20th December 2010, 7:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Compostwoman on 20th December 2010, 7:29 pm

Just my thought as well Badger ( with my hunny bunny, not yours I hasten to add!)

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default Re: Lunar eclipse, winter solstice to coincide

Post by Guest on 21st December 2010, 1:30 am

At 2:25 am its bright enough outside to see colour and shadow. The beautiful full moon is so high and bright. It is mild here with the broken cloud tumbling past the moon. The cloud is not sufficient to obscure her brightness, The eclipse will occur when the moon is lower and the sun begins to rise so we can now enjoy the moon in her full glory.

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Post by Sparhawk on 21st December 2010, 5:30 pm

100% total cloud cover here...

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default Re: Lunar eclipse, winter solstice to coincide

Post by Dandelion on 22nd December 2010, 11:43 am

Woke up last night just after 1.30am - the sky was cloudy, but the moon behind the cloud was incredibly bright. The effect of this brightness reflecting on the snow was remarkable - it made the room too bright to get back to sleep quickly.

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