Lunar Eclipse Gives Celestial Show Over Western Hemisphere
Tuesday, December 21st
Sky watchers in many parts of the United States braved frigid temperatures Tuesday morning to view the pre-dawn total lunar eclipse that was also seen across parts of two other continents.
Astronomy lovers watched as the moon disappeared into complete darkness for 72 minutes, a result of the Earth passing between the moon and the sun. During that time, the moon's surface changed from bright silver to a dark red color. The entire event lasted for nearly three-and-a-half hours.
It was the first total lunar eclipse to fall on the winter solstice – the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere – in 372 years.
Residents in Central America, Iceland and Greenland also saw the full eclipse, while viewers in western Europe witnessed the event at its beginning stages before moonset.
The eclipse was only partly visible in parts of Africa and Asia.
Two more total lunar eclipses will occur in 2011, but scientists at the U.S. space agency NASA say the continental United States will not see another one until April 15, 2014.
Lunar Eclipse Gives Celestial Show article came from blog.voanews.com
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