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This year's winter solstice — an event that will occur next Tuesday — will coincide with a full lunar eclipse in a union that hasn't been seen in 456 years.
The celestial eccentricity holds special significance for spiritualities that tap into the energy of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and a time that is associated with the rebirth of the sun.
"It's a ritual of transformation from darkness into light," says Nicole Cooper, a high priestess at Toronto's Wiccan Church of Canada. "It's the idea that when things seem really bleak, (it) is often our biggest opportunity for personal transformation.
"The idea that the sun and the moon are almost at their darkest at this point in time really only further goes to hammer that home."
Cooper said Wiccans also see great significance in the unique coupling of the masculine energy of the sun and the feminine energy of the moon — transformative energies that she plans to incorporate into the church's winter-solstice ritual.
The luster will be a bit "off" on Dec. 21st, the first day of northern winter, when the full Moon passes almost dead-center through Earth's shadow. For 72 minutes of eerie totality, an amber light will play across the snows of North America, throwing landscapes into an unusual state of ruddy shadow.
The eclipse begins on Tuesday morning, Dec. 21st, at 1:33 am EST (Monday, Dec. 20th, at 10:33 pm PST). At that time, Earth's shadow will appear as a dark-red bite at the edge of the lunar disk. It takes about an hour for the "bite" to expand and swallow the entire Moon. Totality commences at 02:41 am EST (11:41 pm PST) and lasts for 72 minutes.
If you're planning to dash out for only one quick look - it is December, after all - choose this moment: 03:17 am EST (17 minutes past midnight PST). That's when the Moon will be in deepest shadow, displaying the most fantastic shades of coppery red.
Originally posted by aRogue
Will this be visible in Australia? Melbourne to be exact.
S&F for the thread as well.edit on 18-12-2010 by aRogue because: (no reason given)
There will be a total lunar eclipse entirely visible from North America on the night of 2010 DEC 20/21. Observers in the UK will only witness the opening phases of the eclipse including entry into totality before the Moon sets. Australians can see the final partial and penumbral stages after moonrise.
During the eclipse some lucky observers will be treated to occultations of the asteroid 348 May and/or the open cluster NGC 2129. These occultations will require those watching to have telescopes. The asteroid has a magnitude of +12.9. The open cluster is 2.5 arcminutes in diameter with a combined magnitude of +6.7.
Heres a couple of links you may all find better to have read than not?