It may seem quite odd to review a natural event as if it were a new movie or album, but the hoopla surrounding the years’ final lunar eclipse makes addressing the event almost unavoidable. I also wanted to share a few pictures I snapped of the eclipse, so even if you don’t read any further, at least check out the pictures!
The Tweets were certainly buzzing leading up to eclipse, with the phrase “the lunar eclipse” among the trending topics. There was plenty of information going around, much of it false, so let me clarify a few things:
1) Full lunar eclipses are NOT rare. This was NOT the first lunar eclipse in 2000 years, nor will it be the last for 2000 years. Despite what you may have heard, it was the 2nd this year, and there will be another lunar eclipse in June of 2011. (Shame on you, Washington Post)
2) This lunar eclipse was special because it coincided with the winter solstice, the shortest day and the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The winter solstice occurs when the equator around planet Earth achieves maximum tilt relative to the Sun. The last time these two events coincided was 372 years ago, and it won’t happen again for another 84 years.