First Day of Winter Begins with a Lunar Light Show
On Dec. 21st, the first day of northern winter, the full Moon will pass almost dead-center through Earth’s shadow. A rare occurrence indeed. Here in North America we will have the best viewing.
According to Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory, who inspected a list of eclipses going back 2000 years, “Since Year 1, I can only find one previous instance of an eclipse matching the same calendar date as the solstice, and that is Dec. 21, 1638.”
The eclipse here on the west coast begins on Monday night Dec. 20th, at 10:33 pm PST.
At that time, Earth’s shadow will appear as a dark-red smudge at the edge of the lunar disk. It takes about an hour for the the shadow to expand and cover the entire Moon. Total cover will be at 11:41 pm. Total time will be 72 minutes of beautiful coppery red color in the sky.
In the meantime, enjoy Carrie Underwood – Neon Moon: