Did you see it?

December 21, 2010

Luis Acosta /AFP/Getty Images

This amazing sight – a lunar eclipse was available last night to those who had the foresight to set an alarm for 3:30 eastern time … and the benefit of a cloudless sky.  Unfortunately for me I had the former but not the later so I took a mid-night walk around my neighborhood and marveled at how snow cover and a totally overcast sky made the city feel almost day-bright.  I listened to the sounds of many snow plows working through the night to clear streets and parking lots of monday’s three inches.  I also cleared the snow off my car (why not?) and then I went back to bed.

Still even the idea of a lunar eclipse on the night of the solstice is pretty cool.  I know this means the winter is just getting underway (although calling this the first day of winter when we’ve had feet of snow for weeks seems silly) but I’m glad to know that the days are going to start getting longer now (however slowly).  And based on last night’s experience I might take advantage of all the ambient light provided by a nearly full moon and a city full of street lights to go for a night time snow-shoe through Hixon this evening.

Anyway, if you missed the eclipse, like I did, we may be out of luck.  The next time this will happen on the solstice will be on Dec. 21, 2094.

Here’s a little more info on the eclipse at NASA’s website and at Earthsky.org, which is a pretty good resource for all things astronomical.



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