PostHeaderIcon Solstice Lunar Eclipse, 2010 — from Seattle

Update: Here’s a better picture of the eclipse from Seattle, taken by my husband through one of the tiny thinner spots in the clouds. You can see the signature red color of a total lunar eclipse. I’d say you can see it “distinctly,” because as an astronomer I’d call this “bright red” but I know that the real world calls this “tinged with orange… if you look hard enough.”


Lunar Eclipse 12/21/2010 in Seattle ©2010 Jason Gift Enevoldsen

In Seattle we have distinct amounts of cloud-cover, not uncommon for this time of year. Despite this, I did see part of the eclipse tonight!

My (not-so-spectacular) photographic proof:

12/21/2010 Lunar Eclipse "Through the Clouds" as they say in the Seattle Astronomical Society.

What’s So Special About this Lunar Eclipse?

From my point of view, it’s how long totality lasts – 1 hour and 12 minutes. Most lunar eclipses I’ve seen have less than ten minutes of totality, if any. Hmm, it looks like my estimation of lunar eclipses that I’ve seen is off – they often have 30-60 minute of totality. There’s also the cool coincidence that today (Tuesday the 21st) is also the Winter Solstice for the Northern Hemisphere. Neat.

Better Photos

Here’s a roundup of photos and links to other post-eclipse posts. I’ll update again in the morning, so check back. Updated!


Greg Scheiderer of Seattle Astronomy Examiner has been following the story of the eclipse, and has a picture of the Moon itself from before the eclipse. Update: And this morning he has a post up about his experience here in town.


Partial Lunar Eclipse, 12/21/2010 © Greg Scheiderer, Seattle Astronomy Examiner

Update: Joshua Trudjillo of the Seattle P-I caught a surprisingly clear picture of last night’s eclipse. Better than anything else I’ve seen through the clouds. I don’t know how he did it. Joshua, do you have a magic clouds-be-gone spray I should know about?

Update: West Seattle Blog rounded up 3 more clear pictures of the eclipse as it was moving through the partial phases into the total eclipse.


Update: My friend Rob Sparks in Arizona has some great pictures.

Universe Today will probably have a post later this morning. Update: As I suspected, Universe Today has a great compilation of beautiful images from around the world.

And here are a few for your enjoyment:

Partial Lunar Eclipse 12/21/2010 by nakedmac on Flickr

Total Lunar Eclipse on 12/21/2010 by Dendroica cerulea in New Jersey via Flickr

Want More?

Mr. Eclipse (Fred Espenak) is the most thorough and accurate cataloger and calculator of eclipses. He also has lots of good photos, diagrams and explanations.

As his site is down right now I’ll temporarily share his diagram of tonight’s eclipse. I can’t look up whether this is fair-use, because I think his site was crashed because of  too much traffic. If I can’t confirm that this is okay with him tomorrow morning, I’ll be taking this picture down again.

Update 12/21 noon: I still can’t access his site, so I’m taking the picture down until I can make sure he doesn’t mind.

~ A l i c e !

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