It's going to be a very special night, y'all! The Winter Solstice begins at midnight, and it just so happens that this year there will also be a lunar eclipse at the same time. First time since 1378! Looks like my West Coast friends will be swamped under cloud cover from a winter storm so they probably won't get to see this ultra cool event. But here in NC, we should have fairly clear skies.
Here's what the moon will look like early in the morning, and here's what one website has to say about it:
See for yourself on Dec. 21st, the first day of northern winter, when the full Moon passes almost dead-center through Earth’s shadow. For 72 minutes of eerie totality, an amber light will play across the snows of North America, throwing landscapes into an unusual state of ruddy shadow.
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.
If you’re planning to dash out for only one quick look - it is December, after all - choose this moment: 03:17 am EST (17 minutes past midnight PST). That’s when the Moon will be in deepest shadow, displaying the most fantastic shades of coppery red.
I don't know about you, but I plan to get out of bed around 2:45 and have a look... with my little camera in hand. It'll be well worth it.