(Illustration found here).
A lunar eclipse on winter solstice — first time since 1638.
The Earthâ€™s shadow will begin to blot out the moon at 1:32 a.m. EST (10:32 p.m. PST).
During totality, when the Earth is directly between the moon and the sun, the moon will turn a rusty orange-red for 72 minutes from 2:41 a.m. to 3:53 a.m. EST (11:41 p.m. to 12:53 a.m. PST).
Sky watchers in Europe, West Africa and South America will see only part of the eclipse before it is interrupted by sunrise (see chart below).
This is also the last time a total lunar eclipse will be visible from North America until April 2014.
Not much chance for a view here on the northern California coast as we’ve been inundated with rain storms for more than a week — although the night sky is semi-clear right now (near 8 p.m. PST).
There’s been some big breaks in the rolling storms (much worse in the southern part of the state), so there might be a chance of a quick look-see in the early AM.
Longest night of the year — lunacy.