Though the forecast is calling for rain on Monday the 20th, there is a noted event occurring that should not be missed. A total lunar eclipse will be happening and visible to us late that evening. The partial eclipse begins at 10:33 pm and will become a total eclipse at 11:41 pm. The magic of this is all over at 12:53 am but that leaves a nice window of time to view the event. It is special and shouldn’t be missed because of the rarity of a total eclipse. The next scheduled one will not happen until December 25th, 2485. This December solstice eclipse is the northernmost total lunar eclipse for several centuries.
A total lunar eclipse takes place whenever the moon passes right through the Earth’s dark umbral shadow. This can only happen at full moon, which is when the moon has swung directly opposite the sun in our sky, in its monthly orbit of Earth. During the 20th’s total lunar eclipse, the moon will be totally immersed in Earth’s shadow for 72 minutes. A partial eclipse lasting for nearly the same period of time will precede and follow the total eclipse. The entire eclipse from start to finish will last about 3.5 hours.
Stay up late, hope that the cloudy skies cooperate and find a dry place to camp out and catch an amazing sight.
Header photo creadit to: SqueakyMarmot’s photostream on Flickr