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Get Ready For A Total Lunar Eclipse

Lunar EclipseOne of the biggest sky-watching events of 2010 is set to happen tonight!

NASA is calling it “72 minutes of eerie totality, where an amber light will play across the snows of North America, throwing landscapes into an unusual state of ruddy shadow.”

We’re calling it awesome! It’s the first time in 372 years that a full lunar eclipse coincides with the winter solstice.Unless cloud cover obscures the event, you can expect quite a show as the full moon will pass through the Earth’s shadow and turn from grey to red.

Here’s why NASA says the moon turns red:

“A quick trip to the Moon provides the answer: Imagine yourself standing on a dusty lunar plain looking up at the sky. Overhead hangs Earth, nightside down, completely hiding the sun behind it. The eclipse is underway. You might expect Earth seen in this way to be utterly dark, but it’s not. The rim of the planet is on fire! As you scan your eye around Earth’s circumference, you’re seeing every sunrise and every sunset in the world, all of them, all at once. This incredible light beams into the heart of Earth’s shadow, filling it with a coppery glow and transforming the Moon into a great red orb.”

You can start to watch for it at 11:30pm MTN time. According to astronomers, it should be at its most striking at about 1:15am Tuesday morning.

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