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The new year's first solar eclipse

The first solar eclipse of 2011 came two weeks after the total lunar eclipse that fell on the same day as the winter solstice -- a rare cosmic event that hadn't occurred in centuries.



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Dec. 21, 2010

The total lunar eclipse is seen above the Washington Monument. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth blocks the sun's rays from the face of the moon. The moon is then fully in the shadow cast in space by the Earth.

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Lunar eclipse coincides with winter solstice
Article | 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.

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