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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lunar Eclipse, Winter Solstice Coincide This Tuesday | News & Opinion |

Lunar Eclipse, Winter Solstice Coincide This Tuesday

By: Sara Yin

This Tuesday, the sun and moon will appear at their darkest as the lunar eclipse and winter solstice coincide for the first time in 456 years.

According to NASA, those in North America are especially well-positioned to see the lunar eclipse, a bi-annual event which occurs when the earth blocks the sun's rays from hitting the moon. However this is the first time in 35 months since a total lunar eclipse has been seen, and according to a meteorologist who spoke with NPR, the "best lunar show" until 2014.

The total lunar eclipse will begin at 1:33 am and last until 5:01 am EST, but the total eclipse portion lasts only 72 minutes, between 2:41 and 3:53 am. During this time the full moon could appear a bright red or blood orange hue.

Unlike the solar eclipse seen in June, lunar eclipses can be viewed anywhere on the night side of the Earth, and are safe to see with the naked eye.

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