Monday, December 20, 2010

A rare Winter Solstice coming our way

On the 21st, a lunar eclipse will fall on the winter solstice for the first time in centuries and it will happen very early Tuesday morning. I’m thinking of setting my alarm if it’s going to be a clear night.

Here’s the moon as it looked while it was rising late this afternoon here in Maryland.

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The December moon is called The Full Cold Moon, the Full Long Nights Moon, or my favorite: the Moon before Yule. The moon is above the horizon for a long time and, according to the Farmers’ Almanac, it has a high trajectory across the sky because it’s opposite a low sun.

A total lunar eclipse during winter in the northern hemisphere is somewhat common, according to NASA. But a lunar eclipse falling directly on the date of the winter solstice is extremely rare.
With the full moon high in the winter sky, the lunar eclipse will be visible from four continents, with the best views from North America and Central America if weather permits, scientists say.
This year's event will take 3 hours and 38 minutes. The eclipse begins on Tuesday at 1:33 a.m. ET, when the Earth's dark-red shadow will turn up on the edge of the moon, according to NASA. It will take about an hour for the shadow to cover the entire moon. Totality begins at 2:41 a.m. and lasts for 72 minutes. (courtesy AOL News/Lisa Holewa contributor).

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I don’t know about you, but we’re sort of psyched here at the old manor house on the hill. Even George is all a-twitter.

To view a quick graphic slide show of the lunar eclipse, visit this link:

Lunar Eclipse Slide Show

In other good news: the season finale of Survivor is on tonight. And I went out today and bought a little artificial tree. I can’t begin to tell you how comforting it is to see its tiny white lights and some of our ornaments hanging on it. It’s only 4 1/2 feet tall, so I put it in one of the big windows in our living room.

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I know the angel is too big for the little tree, but I am fine with it.

Until tomorrow, my friends.
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44 comments:

Michelle said...

Thanks for the info on the lunar eclipse, and good for you for getting a tree!

msdewberry said...

I heard on the news this morning about the lunar eclipse and am also seriously considering getting up a couple of hours earlier than I normally have to get up to see it. It said the next such event would not happen again until 2094, so if I miss it now I won't get to see it then either!
Our Survivor party is on tonight for the finale. A group of us neighbours always get together for each show and share some wine and good food for each show. We are always lost when the show is over and the time in between waiting for the next series to start. I don't have any favorites this time around, Jane was my favorite but got voted off. Enjoy the show!!
Merry Christmas!

aladyandhermechanic said...

Your tree is perfect! We bought a little 4.5 ft artificial tree last year when it was 50% off. That's the only way we could afford one. And, it holds a special place in my heart.

eileeninmd said...

Nice post and I wish I could be up to see the eclipse. Maybe if it is one of my sleepless nights. Your photos are lovely. I have the same kind of tree and almost in a spot similiar to yours in front of the window. Merry Christmas to you and your fmaily.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Your tree is perfect.

Let me know how the lunar eclipse goes. My having to work puts a monkey wrench in any nocturnal activities, but it sounds like a great opportunity to witness a very rare event.

Deb said...

I like the Angel on your tree...neat info on the lunar eclipse..

RedWillow said...

Loved the moon over your home. I find the information very very interesting and now I need to see it if its clear way up here in Canada. If I see it I will let you know.
Stay warm. We have over two feet of snow and I havent seen snow like this in years.

Karen said...

No such thing as an Angel "too big". We need all the help we can get.

Flea said...

Oh what fun! And look at the winter coat on George!

Andi said...

Love your tree! I have a four ft tree my grandmother gave me a few years ago. It goes in our front window, as our big tree is in the family room and not visible from the front of the house. It just never seemed right to me to not be able to see the tree through a window in the front of the house. Anyway, I digress, this is MY tree. :) Full of snowmen. I even have a snowman on top. I love it, it warms my heart when I see it, just like yours does.
Enjoy Survivor and I am hoping to catch the eclipse too. I asked the kids if they want to get up and see it, I got an eye roll and a "don't you dare wake me up" - guess I will wake the hubby! Alas, I never appreciated these things at their age either.

Andi said...

PS love the lounging Santa!

Low Tide High Style said...

Ooh, very cool but I'm thinking I'm not enough of a morning person to get up in the middle of the night to see it. Maybe though. And I'm so happy you went out and got a tree, it looks beautiful and the angel makes it all the more special!

Kat :)

DAnna said...

Thanks for the eclipse info. Since I'm on the west coast, it starts at 10:33! Hoever, we have been having rain, so I'll keep my fingers crossed it will clear up by then! Don't think I'll make it till the next one!

Jill of All Trades said...

Yeah, that means that spring is next!!!!! I so don't like winter.

mrs mediocrity said...

Yay for your little tree. So cute. I hadn't even heard about the eclipse, very cool. Since it is so rare I just might have to try and stay up for it...

Laura~peach~ said...

LOVE the pics... so beautiful!

Mary said...

Oh, I'm so HAPPY you got a tree -- it looks wonderful! Thanks for the info on the lunar eclipse. Hopefully the skies will be clear and I will be awake... it would be just my luck to miss it, when I'm up most nights anyway. lol


LOVE the images here -- so beautiful!
xoxo,
Mary

Oliag said...

Yay!! You got a Christmas tree! And it is such a beautiful one too:) I love that angel...

I had taped Survivor and just stayed up until 1:30 to watch it...love that the non-schemer won!

I sinserely doubt that I would be able to get up early enough to see the lunar eclipse...so I am very grateful for the link to the video of it:)

BuyAionAccount said...

How exciting! I bet a lot of people will stay up late for this. Who wouldn't, it's a once in a lifetime experience.

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elizabeth said...

Love love love your first photo!
I''m so excited about the lunar eclipse too
we will be looking out for it in New York
SEASON"S GREETINGS
and all best wishes
from New York.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Very informative post. We've had some wonderful moonlit nights here recently; not a fan of snow but the moon shining on the ground has been truly breathtaking.

CJ xx

Sarah said...

I'm so glad you posted about the eclipse! I've been looking forward for it! Hoping for a clear night tonight and a good view from my deck. At least at that time, it will be high enough so the trees won't block it.

Love your tree. Ours is very similar!

The Japanese Redneck said...

I'm going to check on that eclipse. Thanks for telling us about it.

Nurse Nancy said...

Thanks for the clarity....I think I need to get up early and watch....too good to pass up.

Daryl said...

Its not too big, its perfect!

sharon said...

I really want to see it, but I'm not sure about waking up at a quarter to two. We'll have to see.

beth said...

i'm back online for just a tiny bit and playing catch up.....
sooooo fabio won.....at least it wasn't sash!!!

and my tree is tiny like yours....and that's okay :)
a tree is a tree is a tree :)

xoxo

Sarah said...

Your blog is like a breath of fresh air. A profound thank you.

deb said...

I don't think we're going to have clear enough skies here , but we'll see.

We get a smaller and smaller tree every year. I love how you put it in the window.

Annie said...

Good to catch up here at last Kate. Have been partying on in Melbourne for my niece's wedding. Hope to see the eclipse in Brisbane, or maybe from the plane as we fly back tonight..maybe we will get a preview up there! Hope the pilot keeps his eye on the wheel though!

Love your first photo! very mmm...interesting. meaningful? Can't find the word for it. Graphic?

Anyway, also love the little tree, and the angel could never be too big for the tree. The angel is the reason for the tree!!

Have a great week Kate. I am very jealous of the snow, and not looking forward to the heat when I arrive back in the tropical north tonight. But maybe I might get a late snowfall in April when I am in NYC to help out with the new baby. What do you think?

nancy in ks said...

Merry Christmas Kate,

I just dropped by to say what an unbelievably beautiful photo of Mama Cardinal you have posted over at PW. In my expert opinion (!haha) I know you will be a finalist. You'd better be a finalist. It is just gorgeous!

Nancy

becky up the hill said...

Very Happy you bought yourself that sweet lil'tree. I am starting to think the little trees are the best; they do showcase your special ornaments better without getting lost. Merry Christmas Kate

Mental P Mama said...

There is no such thing as a "too big" angel;) And, are you getting up to document it?;)

Mental P Mama said...

"It" being the eclipse, and not a large angel.

Lili said...

Oh I love that even George is all a-twitter, the moon before Yule sure is a gorgeous sight. I may even fire up the coffeepot tonight. And as for the size of the angel, all the better to watch over you and yours at the lovely manor house, it's perfect Kate! xoxo ~Lili

COUNTRY GAL said...

Yes the lunar eclips will be great, hubby and I are amature astromoners we have the equipment and a special sky shed that we can view the skyies from just hope it wont be cloudy here! love your photos ! Have a warm and happy day !

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

My hubby and I were noticing the moon tonight as we drove home from our daughters--He commented on how light the sky was--Now I know why!!!
Love your little tree- I have one too-just put it up yesterday-I just can't seem to get it all together as usual!
Have a blessed Christmas!
V.

Yolanda said...

I love the photo and it has a creepy otherwordly look to it even though it is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

The photo of the moon over your home is beautiful! Another artistic photo!

We have been having clear weather in Louisiana; I would like to stay awake (or awaken)long enough to see at least some of the eclipse.

GillLink

Jeanne Walker said...

LOVE your tree! I'ma have to find me one. I didn't put my HUGE (fake) tree up this year, but I would have if I had one like yours!I particularly like the Blues Brother Santa passed out to the right of the tree!!!!

Looks like y'all might be getting some of the white stuff! Not us...still hot, humid, windy ~~ still have my flip flops on!!!

Another Sister said...

The angel is the perfect touch.

Another Sister said...

The angel is the perfect touch.

Caroline said...

I am so bummed that I won't be able to see it...raining non-stop here! I hope you take some pics!!!

ELK said...

just so pretty ..the house the sky the pup and your tree..have such fun in the city