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News

The Lunar Eclipse Totalizes On The Winter Solstice

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Photo by Heather on the go! via LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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Grab a sparkly vampire and your umbrella, there's tonight's total lunar eclipse tonight! Tonight's cosmic event will last three hours and twenty-eight minutes and will be visible on the West Coast, theoretically, from 10:33 p.m. until 2:01 a.m. The deepest, reddest colors of the shadow should be visible at 12:17 a.m., however, given the extraordinary weather we're having, you may need to be airborne to see it from LA.

"It’s not hard to understand why the moon turns red," says NASA (because they're NASA). Reports the OC Register, if we imagine ourselves standing on the moon during the eclipse then the Earth is aligned between the moon and the sun, and, "from the moon’s perspective, the sun lights up the rim of the Earth. 'The rim of the planet is on fire!' writes Tony Phillips at Science@NASA. 'As you scan your eye around the Earth’s circumference, you’re seeing every sunrise and every sunset in the world, all of them, at once.'" That glow is then beamed into Earth’s shadow and onto the moon during the eclipse. Obvi.

The last total lunar eclipse was in February 2008, however tonight's TLE is the first time since 1554 that it coincides with the winter solstice, reports FOX LA. According to ABC Local, North America has the best seat on Earth for tonight's event however we won't be so lucky for the June 2011 eclipse, and will only catch a peek of next December's show.