Eclipses are rare, even rarer, a solar eclipse that coincides with the Winter Solstice – but it happened and was the first since 1638. Stargazers might have had to give up a little sleep but they were treated to a heavenly show. A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth becomes positioned between the sun and moon. The Earth ends up blocking the sun and causing a shadow to be cast on the moon. As NASA explains, “As the moon moves into the Earth’s shadow, the moon appears to change color, turning orange. Our atmosphere filters out most of the blue colored light, leaving the red and orange hues.”
Lunar eclipses are different from solar eclipses in that they can be seen with the naked eye.
NASA said the eclipse started Tuesday night, December 20, 2010 starting at about 1:33am ET and ended at 5:01am ET, “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.” NASA also streamed live video feed of the eclipse from a camera at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Because of severe weather in parts of North America it was difficult for some to get a good view of the celestial show. In western Europe and Asia those stargazers were only able to see the start and end of the show. The next total lunar eclipse will occur on April 15, 2014.
The Earth casting its shadow on the moon as the Lunar Eclipse starts.
Did you get a chance to see the show? DMAC are amateur astronomers and was there to see it – just take a look at these incredible pics. If you’re interested in science, check out Digital Media Academy’s Science and Engineering Summer Camp. The world of science is exciting and full of exploration and discover. Want to see more pics? Then check out DMA’s Facebook page – and while you’re at, add DMA to your facebook.
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