A total lunar eclipse – just for you! But most of us will probably sleep right through it since it will happen during the wee hours of the morning on December 21 (Shay’s Birthday).
Lunar and solar eclipses can only occur when the Earth, Sun and Moon are directly aligned; that alignment will occur four days before Christmas – on Shay’s birthday! Oops, did I already mention that it will happen on SHAY’S birthday?
If you don’t want to miss this event, grab your warmest woollies, binoculars, and don’t forget to set your alarm clocks! This will be the first total lunar eclipse in nearly 3 years. The last one for the continental US was back in February of 2008; the next will not occur till April 2014.
North Americans will be treated to the sight on the winter solstice, which places the Moon exceptionally high in the winter sky, near the borders of the constellations Taurus, Gemini, and Orion. You can see it during the predawn hours of Tuesday December 21, 2010 – on you know whoooosey’s birthday.
The entire event is visible from North America, Greenland and Iceland. Western Europe will see the beginning stages of the eclipse before moonset while western Asia will get the later stages after moonrise. During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon’s disk can take on a dramatically colorful appearance from bright orange to blood red to dark brown and (rarely) very dark gray.
Source: Mr. Eclipse
Those who live in North America and are enthusiastic enough to set their alarm clocks can watch the eclipse at the following times.
Eastern Standard Time Zone:
- Penumbral eclipse begins 12:29 EST
- Partial eclipse begins 1:33 EST
- Total eclipse begins 2:41 EST
- Greatest eclipse 3:17 EST
- Total eclipse ends 3:53 EST
- Partial eclipse ends 5:01 EST
- Penumbral eclipse ends 6:05 EST
Central Standard Time:
- Penumbral eclipse begins 11:29 PM CST
- Partial eclipse begins 12:33 AM CST
- Total eclipse begins 1:41 AM CST
- Greatest eclipse 2:17 AM CST
- Total eclipse ends 2:53 AM CST
- Partial eclipse ends 4:01 AM CST
- Penumbral eclipse ends 5:05 AM CST
Mountain Standard Time:
- Penumbral eclipse begins 10:29 PM MST
- Partial eclipse begins 11:33 PM MST
- Total eclipse begins 12:41 AM MST
- Greatest eclipse 1:17 AM MST
- Total eclipse ends 1:53 AM MST
- Partial eclipse ends 3:01 AM MST
- Penumbral eclipse ends 4:05 AM MST
Pacific Standard Time:
- Penumbral eclipse begins 9:29 PM PST
- Partial eclipse begins 10:33 PM PST
- Total eclipse begins 11:41 PM PST
- Greatest eclipse 12:17 AM PST
- Total eclipse ends 12:53 AM PST
- Partial eclipse ends 2:01 AM PST
- Penumbral eclipse ends 3:05 AM PST
The Universal Time (UT):
- Penumbral eclipse begins 5:29 UT
- Partial eclipse begins 6:33 UT
- Total eclipse begins 7:41 UT
- Greatest eclipse 8:17 UT
- Total eclipse ends 8:53 UT
- Partial eclipse ends 10:01 UT
- Penumbral eclipse ends 11:05 UT
A very special boy was born on a very special day! Happy birthday, Shay!