Rare lunar eclipse on the solstice tonight

Bess Hudson, Temperance, MI
December 19, 2010 9:00:00 PM PST
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Just in time for Christmas. The year's only total lunar eclipse will occur Monday night or early Tuesday depending on where you live.

North and Central America and a tiny sliver of South America will have the best view. Weather permitting, skygazers in those regions should be able to view the entire eclipse, expected to last 3 1/2 hours.

The moon is normally illuminated by the sun. During a total lunar eclipse, the full moon passes through the shadow created by the Earth blocking the sun's light.

Total eclipse begins at 11:41 p.m. PST Monday or 2:41 a.m. EST Tuesday. The totality phase - when the moon is entirely inside Earth's shadow - will last a little over an hour.


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