Lunar eclipse 2010: Video, photos and more

The total lunar eclipse falls on the same day as the winter solstice, a rare cosmic event that hasn't occurred in centuries.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010; 11:44 AM

The lunar eclipse which occurred on December 21th was not your usual eclipse, as Martin Weil and Debbi Wilgoren explain:

There are not many days like Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010. Take it from people who know: astronomers. There was maybe one day like this Tuesday in the past 2,000 years.

The last time the solstice coincided with a total lunar eclipse on the same calendar day was long before any of our lifetimes, experts say. The year, according to Geoff Chester, public affairs officer at the U.S. Naval Observatory, was 1638. (Starhawk, a prominent Wiccan, told The Washington Post in an essay that the two events have not coincided since 1544.)

Chester said his research took him back to the first year of the common era and involved consulting with "a number of well-respected sources." His finding, essentially was this: "It's a comparatively rare event."

Watch the video of the total 2010 lunar eclipse here.

Share your comments on the eclipse here

Melissa Bell gave us a preview of this celestial event, telling readers:

Go howl at the moon tonight. A confluence of events means North Americans will have prime viewing seats to a total lunar eclipse of a full moon on the winter solstice.

This will be the first and only total lunar eclipse of 2010 and next year's lunar eclipses will not be as viewable from North America. For the winter-weary, NASA has a list of livestreaming options, so you can still see the moon, only from an indoor vantage point. Everyone else brave enough to weather the cold, howl away.

Readers share theirphotos of the lunar eclipse here

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