Many people around the world will become amateur stargazers tonight, looking up at the sky to witness one of the most unique astrological events of the year.
Beginning at approximately 9:32 pm tonight, the earth will move into the path between the sun and the moon, creating a total lunar eclipse. The moon will be completely immersed in the shadow, as the moon continues on its rotation around the Earth, for about an hour between 10:40 and 11:53 pm. At about that time, the upper edge of the moon will begin to move out of the Earth’s shadow and by 1 am the moon will be completely out of the shadow again.
There are generally a couple lunar eclipses during each calendar year. There will be another total lunar eclipse next year on December 10th. There won’t be another total lunar eclipse visible from Alaska in 2012 OR 2013, but in 2014 there will be visible lunar eclipses in both April and October. According to NASA, this is the first time in 372 years that a lunar eclipse will occur on the winter solstice and the next one on winter solstice won’t occur until 2094. **That is, for most of the U.S. For Alaskans, the eclipse is the day before solstice. Solstice occurs for the Upper Valley at 2:38 pm Tuesday.
The National Weather Service is forecasting cloudy skies in the Upper Valley region this evening into tomorrow morning with lows from zero to 10 below and north winds 10 to 15 miles per hour.
Anyone heading outside tonight to watch the Total Lunar Eclipse is advised to dress accordingly in order to stay safe and warm.