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Rare Celestial Event as Seen From Bowie

The last time the two celestial occurrences fell on the same day was in 1638.

A rare occurance happened early Tuesday morning when a full lunar eclipse was clearly visible in North America and northern part of South America. Other parts of the world caught glimpses at the beginning and end of the eclipse.  In Alaska, they saw both the lunar eclipse and the northern lights simultaneously. It was the first time that the winter solstice and a full lunar eclipse have fallen on the same day in 372 years.

A full lunar eclipse occurs when the moon moves into the shadow of the earth. 

The eclipse began at 1:33 a.m. and at around 2:41 a.m. the earth had blocked the sun from the moon. The totality eclipse phase lasted 72 minutes, with its greatest eclipse happening around 3:17 a.m.. which is when it's said to also be under the deepest shadow.

NASA had a live stream of the eclipse on Ustream, and an animation from Shadow & Substance explained the stages in a clear visual way.

The next time the winter solstice and a full lunar eclipse are predicted to coincide is the Dec. 21 2094.

Send your photos to joshua@patch.com or add them to the gallery by clicking the "Add" link in the bottom of this box.

Sonia Dasgupta (Editor) December 21, 2010 at 01:10 PM
these are some pretty cool photos!
pgcoresident December 21, 2010 at 01:16 PM
It was truly a spectacular sight!

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