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Unwelcome Sequel to “Erin Brockovich”

How about an eclipse with your solstice?

Take a few minutes tonight, Dec. 21, to watch one of nature’s most beautiful and rarest events: a total lunar eclipse that will coincide with the winter solstice. How rare? According to Space.com, that pairing hasn’t happened in 372 years.

The noticeable part of the eclipse should begin at 1:33 a.m. ET on Dec. 21 and reach a total eclipse at 2:41 a.m. ET. As an added bonus, there may even be a meteor shower at the height of the eclipse.

The eclipse should be visible all across North and South America, parts of northeast Asia, including Korea, Japan and parts of northern and western Europe.

Scientists are predicting that the moon may appear a darker red or brown instead of the usual orange or yellow hue because of all the volcanic eruptions around the world this year. Those eruptions have sent tons of dust into the atmosphere.

As our science classes taught us, a total lunar eclipse is when a full moon passes through the shadow created by the Earth blocking the sun’s light. The moon appears to change colors because the Earth’s atmosphere refracts sunlight into the shadow.

12 stages of the lunar eclipse