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Lunar eclipse may be visible Tuesday morning

Beverley Ann D'Cruz, staff writer

December 20, 2010 — A total lunar eclipse early Tuesday morning will make the moon seem to disappear.

This is the first total lunar eclipse to take place in the winter solstice in over 300 years
This is the first total lunar eclipse to take place in the winter solstice in over 300 years

Star gazers are in for a treat Tuesday morning. Starting at 1.33 am EST, a total lunar eclipse will kick off that will eventually have the moon take on a bloody red hue.

This event is particularly special as NASA says it is the first one to occur on the winter solstice in over 300 years. Also, it's falling on December 21st - something that hasn't happened since 1638.

During the three and a half hour event, the moon will appear high in the sky as the earth, moon and sun will come into alignment. But since the moon will also align with the Milky Way's stars, it will result in an enhanced ambience making it visually spectacular.

Who will get a chance to view it?

According to Brian Dillon, a meteorologist here at The Weather Network there will be a light fog in southern Ontario but it shouldn't obscure the view too much. The eclipse should also be visible in Kingston, Montreal and the Nickle Belt.

Out west in B.C. some parts of the interior near Prince George should be well placed for the viewing. The same goes for Edmonton and Calgary.

“The closer you are to the Rockies and the foothills, the higher the chances of seeing it because there is not much cloud cover,” says Dillon.

And no special equipment is necessary to enjoy the eclipse. “It is perfectly safe to look at the moon with your own eyes,” says astronomer Andrew Yee. However, he does advise bundling up because it will be cold.

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