Thick storm clouds blocked the total lunar eclipse here in the Southland last night, but it was seen elsewhere. The NASA photo above shows the eclipse in the skies over Arlington, Virginia.
A lunar eclipse occurs only at night when there is a full moon. It happens when the Earth lines up directly between the sun and the moon, blocking the sun rays and casting a shadow on the moon, according to the NASA website. During the eclipse, the Earth’s atmosphere turns the regular gray color of the moon to a deep copper-red.
This lunar eclipse lasted about three hours and 28 minutes and occurred on the winter solstice — the shortest day of the year — and the beginning of winter. This is a rare astronomical feat. The previous lunar eclipse on a winter solstice occurred in 1632.
More incredible lunar photos on the NASA site here.