Just a brief note: a lunar eclipse on the Winter Solstice is occuring tonight (or, rather, early tomorrow morning for those in EST). The partial eclipse, as though a bite has been taken out of the moon, should be visible at 1:33am EST with the total eclipse beginning at 2:41am EST and lasting 72 minutes, according to NASA.
What can I say? You already know how I feel about stargazing. It's what inspired the commencement of this very blog! So you can just imagine how I feel about moongazing.
Tonight I am missing the pitch-black of the backyard of my previous homestead. But I will stand at the bottom of my driveway or on my back deck and try to peer through the city's light pollution to catch a glimpse of anything I can despite the current cloud cover above.
The last time there was a lunar eclipse on the Winter Solstice was on December 21, 1638. That's right. Three hundred and seventy-two years ago. The next time it will happen, most of us won't be alive. It will be December 21, 2094. So. I'm thinking you really shouldn't miss out on this event tonight if you can witness it.
Normally, the Winter Solstice is also called The Darkest Night of the Year. Only this year, it will just so happen to be that bit darker with the moon turning an amber colour behind the shadows tonight.
My son and I wish you all a beautiful Birth of the Sun tomorrow as the earth tilts towards the Summer Solstice and the days begin to stretch and grow brighter. And we hope that all your days grow brighter in 2011!
Music: Bonnie Tyler, A Total Eclipse of the Heart
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