Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lunar eclipse December 2010
















A full lunar eclipse will take place in the early hours of December 21 in the night skies over Toronto. And, unlike meteor showers and the northern lights, you don't need to leave the city to see it. So long as the sky is clear, the phenomenon will be widely visible.
What's perhaps even more noteworthy about this event is that it takes place on the winter solstice -- though I can't imagine this'll mean a whole lot to those not immersed in New Age philosophy (weird link!). But regardless of the date -- and the fact that it might be a tad chilly outside -- I think full lunar eclipses are pretty damn cool, particularly when the moon takes on that odd red glow.

Here's Nasa with the details: "The eclipse begins on Tuesday morning, Dec. 21st, at 1:33 am EST (Monday, Dec. 20th, at 10:33 pm PST). At that time, Earth's shadow will appear as a dark-red bite at the edge of the lunar disk. It takes about an hour for the "bite" to expand and swallow the entire Moon. Totality commences at 02:41 am EST (11:41 pm PST) and lasts for 72 minutes."


That's not exactly early for those who generally hit the hay while the night is still young, but given that the last lunar eclipse was in 2008 and the next won't happen until 2014, it might be worth staying up for. And photographers, remember to get out your tripod and the longest lens you have -- otherwise the moon will just be a blurry red speck amidst a black background.

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