- **updated 12-21-10**
The weather on Maui did not allow for the time laps pictures I was hoping for. But William Castleman nailed it :) Thanks for sharing!
Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse from William Castleman on Vimeo.
- While it is merely a coincidence that the eclipse falls on the same date as this year’s winter solstice, for eclipse watchers this means that the moon will appear very high in the night sky, as the solstice marks the time when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun.
- A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth lines up directly between the sun and the moon, blocking the sun’s rays and casting a shadow on the moon. As the moon moves deeper and deeper into the Earth’s shadow, the moon changes color before your very eyes, turning from gray to an orange or deep shade of red. The moon takes on this new color because indirect sunlight is still able to pass through Earth’s atmosphere and cast a glow on the moon. Our atmosphere filters out most of the blue colored light, leaving the red and orange hues that we see during a lunar eclipse. Extra particles in the atmosphere, from say a recent volcanic eruption, will cause the moon to appear a darker shade of red.
- The eclipse will be visible in the lower eastern night sky. During the maximum eclipse the moon ought to sit at about the halfway point in the eastern sky, and by the time it ends you can look for the moon to regain its familiar whitish hue directly above your head, or at its zenith.
- Let’s hope the current storm passes and we have clear skies :) I will update this post if I get some shot tonight.