Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Solstice Eclipse Photographed by Enrique in Wasaga Beach


Total eclipse of the moon. The moon passed through the shadow of the Earth early Tuesday morning. Enrique Photo Art photo

WASAGA BEACH – A total lunar eclipse was viewable from North America early Tuesday morning and Wasaga Beach photographer Enrique Miranda braved the elements to photograph the event, which coincided with the arrival of the winter solstice.

The moon passed through the shadow of the Earth early Tuesday morning, turning it a deep reddish brown. Normally, the moon is illuminated by the sun, but the Earth cut off that light source for a few hours, creating a ghostly moon apparition in the night sky. The partial eclipse began at 1:33 a.m. Eastern, and the total eclipse lasted between 2:41 a.m and 3:53 a.m. The partial eclipse will end at 5:01 a.m.

The sky was clear over the Georgian Bay for a change, allowing the eclipse to viewed, much to the delight of local skywatchers. The full moon slowly slipped into shadow starting just after 1:30 a.m.  Scattered across the rest of the night sky, the stars appeared brighter than usual in contrast.

The last time the solstice coincided with a total lunar eclipse on the same calendar day was long before any of our lifetimes, experts say. The year, according to Geoff Chester, public affairs officer at the U.S. Naval Observatory, was 1638.

Courtesy simcoe.com

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