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Lunar Eclipse and Winter Solstice

Hey! On Tuesday, at 3:17 a.m. EST, we will be treated to our own beloved moon showing itself bright and full, but it will also be eclipsed! All of this on the Winter Solstice. For more information go to:

This lunar eclipse falls on the date of the northern winter solstice. How rare is that? Total lunar eclipses in northern winter are fairly common. There have been three of them in the past ten years alone. A lunar eclipse smack-dab on the date of the solstice, however, is unusual.

Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory inspected a list of eclipses going back 2000 years.

"Since Year 1, I can only find one previous instance of an eclipse matching the same calendar date as the solstice, and that is December 21, 1638," says Chester. "Fortunately we won't have to wait 372 years for the next one...that will be on December 21, 2094."

And when the moon shows herself full and clear again, ring out those solstice bells!

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