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Rare triple delight in the solstice sky

The total lunar eclipse Feb. 2008 photographed by Michael Boschat www.space.com

Winter solstice arrives in a rare but grand way Tuesday – with a full moon, total lunar eclipse and a few shooting stars.
It has been 372 years since the red moon total lunar eclipse has coincided with the winter solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year, NASA said.
Best viewing begins at about 1:45 a.m. Tuesday  – with stage 6 (total eclipse) at 2:41 a.m. and continues through 5:01 a.m.
During a lunar eclipse, the earth is exactly in line between the full moon and the sun, blocking the sun’s light from bouncing off the moon. The earth’s atmosphere makes the moon appear to be red.
www.space.com reports the universe is throwing in a celestial bonus of a minor meteor shower sending a few shooting stars across the sky during the height of the moon cover.
For the 12 stages and a timetable of events, from Joe Rao, of space.com, visit
http://www.space.com/spacewatch/total-lunar-eclipse-12-stages-101219.html

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