Winter Solstice Coincides With Lunar Eclipse December 2010
Winter Solstice And Total Lunar Eclipse For December 2010 Occur Same Day
For the first time almost 500 years the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice and a Total Lunar Eclipse are coinciding on the same day but like 500 years ago seeing the total eclipse of the moon is dependent on weather conditions.
There is also a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a selenelion, which occurs when the sun and the eclipsed moon can be seen at the same time.
This is also known as a horizontal eclipse, because both sun and moon appear above the horizon at nearly opposite points in the sky.
The good thing about a lunar eclipse (unlike a solar eclipse) is that it can be viewed with the naked eye safely, though a telescope or binoculars are even better.
The eclipse will actually begin when the moon enters the faint outer portion, or penumbra, of the Earth's shadow a little over an hour before it begins moving into the umbra. The penumbra, however, is all but invisible to the eye until the moon becomes deeply immersed in it. Sharp-eyed viewers may get their first glimpse of the penumbra as a faint smudge on the left part of the moon's disk at or around 6:15 UT (on Dec. 21) which corresponds to 1:15 a.m. Eastern Time or 10:15 p.m. Pacific Time (on Dec. 20).