Total lunar eclipse to glow on winter solstice

Total lunar eclipse to glow on winter solstice

Credit: NASA

Total lunar eclipse to glow on winter solstice

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by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on December 19, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 20 at 7:33 PM

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Dec. 21 will mark the transition from fall to winter, with the arrival of winter solstice. But this year it will also mark a unique event when the Earth’s shadow will creep across the moon’s surface in a total lunar eclipse.

From 11:41 p.m., Monday night, until 12:53 a.m. PST Tuesday, four continents will watch as the Earth’s shadow will entirely engulf the moon.

KING 5 Meteorologist Rich Marriott says there will be some showers tonight, but the weather should be clear in between clouds in time for night show.

"I think we'll get breaks in the clouds. And it is visible for 3 1/2 hours - 72 minutes totally eclipsed!" said Marriott.

The best views will be seen by residents of North and Central America.

The process, which will leave the moon in a coppery red glow, will take 3 hours and 28 minutes to complete.   

“Unlike a total eclipse of the sun, which is only visible to those in the path of totality, eclipses of the moon can usually be observed from one's own backyard. The passage of the moon through the Earth's shadow is equally visible from all places within the hemisphere where the moon is above the horizon,” said Joe Rao of The Hayden Planetarium.

Rao believes this will be the best view of a total lunar eclipse until 2014, for North American residents.

It has been about three years since the last total lunar eclipse. 

CLICK HERE to see live streaming of the eclipse on the NASA website.

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