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Rare lunar eclipse on December 21, 2010

December 19, 2010Comments No comments

The approaching lunar eclipse of December 21, 2010 falls on the same date as the northern winter solstice. The last time this occurred was in 1638 — a whopping 372 years ago. The total eclipse lasts around an hour from 02:41 am to 03:53 am EST (07:41 am to 08:53 am GMT) on Tuesday morning, December 21.

What’s the significance of this? Will something extraordinary happen? Well, if we look back in history, we can see that the month of December in 1638 was pretty much business as usual. No big earthquakes, polar shifts, volcanic eruptions, three days of lingering darkness, that kind of stuff. ;-)

However, Earth’s stratosphere is as clear as it’s been in more than 50 years, so the eclipse will look amazing to those who can see it.

Click to enlarge

On the above diagram you can see that the eclipse is best seen in North America. Here in Amsterdam, the moon will set around the time of the total eclipse, so it won’t be as spectacular.

Enjoy the show!

(Sources: Spaceweather, Wikipedia)

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