UPDATE: And here it is the Lunar eclipse as most saw it around the world last night.
ORIGINAL STORY: This year’s winter solstice, the longest night of the year, also brings us a full lunar eclipse!
Watch it tonight, it won’t start until 1:30 a.m. in the midwest, it is the first full lunar eclipse visible in Chicago since February 2008, and the next total lunar eclipse visible in the Chicago area won’t happen until April 15, 2014! The eclipse will be visible to everyone in North and Central America as well as Alaska and Hawaii.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth passes directly between the sun and the moon causing the moon’s surface to darken and also possibly turn a reddish color. The total eclipse will last for 72 minutes while the moon will be partially eclipsed for about an hour.
“This one is weird in terms of its coincidence with the winter solstice,” said Larry Ciupik, an astronomer with the Adler Planetarium. “There is no particular significance that it occurs on a winter solstice, it just works out that another total lunar eclipse won’t fall on the longest night of the year again until the year 2094.”