(((AND WELL THE REST OF THE US TOO BUT WHO CARES ABOUT THOSE OTHER SMALL STATES)))
If you live in North America, you will have a great opportunity to see a total lunar eclipse on December 21, 2010. So get the coffee ready and plan on pulling an all nighter because you won’t want to miss this one!
On December 21, 2010 at 1:33 am Eastern Standard Time (EST) – 8:17 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) – the Moon will enter Earth’s penumbra or partial shadow. You will see the moon dim and begin to turn a reddish color. At 2:41 am EST, the Moon will enter the Earth’s umbra or full shadow. This is when the total lunar eclipse begins.
The total lunar eclipse will last until 3:53 am EST – which is over an hour of total eclipse viewing time! The show’s not over yet though because the Moon won’t pass completely out of Earth’s shadow until 5:01 am EST. Check out MrEclipse.com. This website has a great diagram of the event.
So why does a lunar eclipse occur? When the orbits of the Earth, Moon and Sun are lined up just right, the Moon will pass behind the Earth and enter the Earth’s shadow. The Earth’s shadow blocks out most of the light from the Sun and the Moon goes dark! Lunar eclipses always occur when there is a full moon.
Since the moon is traveling 2,300 miles per hour through the Earth’s shadow, the total eclipse can last up to 107 minutes. So…you’ll have plenty of time to see it and photograph it. If you get any great pictures of the event, send them to us and we’ll post them on the site.