Monday, December 20, 2010

Welcoming Winter with a Lunar Eclipse

If you are a star gazer or like astronomy, then you may want to stay up extra late tonight. That's because the sun, earth, and moon will align themselves to form a lunar eclipse.

As the moon orbits the earth, it will pass through the earth's shadow, giving way to a full moon and a lunar eclipse. Often times, the moon will have a copper red to orange-like appearance if skies are clear and visibilites are high.
That, in turn, could be a problem for us tonight in East Texas. Clouds will be present and we could even see some areas of patchy fog form after midnight. If either of these scenarios happen, then most of us will not be able to see the moon and its bright appearance.
The best window of opportunity to view the full moon will be from 1-3am local time.

This lunar eclipse will welcome in winter, which officially arrives at 5:38pm Tuesday afternoon.
That occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere, giving us the shortest day of the year.
While winter arrives tomorrow night, it won't be feeling like it as temperatures will be running several degrees above normal for mid-December.