Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Eclipse on the Winter Solstice

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I hope you took a peek at a rare event going on over our heads on December 21.  A Lunar Eclipse is not rare, but the fact that it happened on the Winter Solstice is.  The last time there was a Lunar Eclipse on the first day of Winter was 372 years ago, and it won't happen again until 2094.  The picture above was taken a few minutes after the Moon started moving into the Earth's shadow.

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It was cloudy all day but soon after the event started the clouds started to dissipate and cleared enough to get the above picture.  Note the red color caused by sunlight first passing through the Earth's stratosphere then reflecting off the Moon.  At the upper right there is a turquoise fringe.  This is sunlight first passing through the Earth's ozone layer.

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As it started to emerge from the Earth's shadow the clouds started coming back giving a "diamond ring" glow to this wonder of nature.

All pictures were taken with my 300mm f/4 and Canon XTi on a tripod.

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