Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Wow... lunar eclipse on the winter solstice!
OK, so I admit I did not get up in the middle of the night to see the lunar eclipse. But I did catch the tail end around 4 a.m. today -- does that count?
Truly is cool that the full moon was on the winter solstice AND we had an eclipse!
Enjoy these Associated Press photos.
The huge moon photo shows the view from Stedman, N.C., taken with a 10-second time exposure.
The series of photos was taken over an hour-long period in Overland Park, Kan.
According to the AP, a total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth casts its shadow on the full moon, blocking the sun's rays that otherwise reflect off the moon's surface. Some indirect sunlight still pierces through to give the moon its eerie hue.
The totality phase — when the moon was completely immersed in Earth's shadow — lasted 72 minutes.
The last time a full eclipse occurred with the winter solstice was on Dec. 21, 1638. It won't happen again until Dec. 21, 2094, so I won't be around for that one!