According to the Griffith Observatory:
It is also the highest in the sky that a totally eclipsed Moon has appeared from Los Angeles in 1,591 years and it will not be this high again for at least another millennium.
The entire event is visible from North America and western South America. Observers along South America’s east coast miss the late stages of the eclipse because they occur after moonset. Likewise much of Europe and Africa experience moonset while the eclipse is in progress. Only northern Scandinavians can catch the entire event from Europe. For observers in eastern Asia the Moon rises in eclipse. None of the eclipse is visible from south and east Africa, the Middle East or South Asia.
MrEclipse.com offered a little explanation of what is going on, though that site is currently down:
One of the great things about lunar eclipses is that they are completely safe to view with the naked eye. No special filters are required to protect your eyes like those used for solar eclipses. You don’t even need a telescope to watch the eclipse although a good pair of binoculars will help.
An eclipse of the Moon can only take place at Full Moon, and only if the Moon passes through some portion of Earth’s shadow. The shadow is actually composed of two cone-shaped parts, one nested inside the other. The outer shadow or penumbra is a zone where Earth blocks some (but not all) of the Sun’s rays. In contrast, the inner shadow or umbra is a region where Earth blocks all direct sunlight from reaching the Moon
So, if you want to go out and take a look at one of the greatest eclipses you’ll ever see, the following schedule lets you know when to keep an eye out for it. Keep in mind that North Americans will not have another opportunity to see a total lunar eclipse until April 15, 2014!
- The major phases of the eclipse occur as follows (all times are GMT or Greenwich Mean Time).
- The partial eclipse commences with first umbral contact at 06:33 GMT. Totality begins at 07:41 GMT and lasts until 08:53 GMT.
- The partial phases end at 10:01 GMT.
|Total Lunar Eclipse of December 21, 2010|
|Partial Eclipse Begins:||06:33 am||02:33 am||01:33 am||12:33 am||11:33 pm*||10:33 pm*||09:33 pm*||08:33 pm*|
|Total Eclipse Begins:||07:41 am||03:41 am||02:41 am||01:41 am||12:41 am||11:41 pm*||10:41 pm*||09:41 pm*|
|Mid-Eclipse:||08:17 am||04:17 am||03:17 am||02:17 am||01:17 am||12:17 am||11:17 pm*||10:17 pm*|
|Total Eclipse Ends:||08:53 am||04:53 am||03:53 am||02:53 am||01:53 am||12:53 am||11:53 pm*||10:53 pm*|
|Partial Eclipse Ends:||10:01 am||06:01 am||05:01 am||04:01 am||03:01 am||02:01 am||01:01 am||12:01 am|
* Event occurs on evening of December 20, 2010
|Key to Time Zones|
|GMT||Greenwich Mean Time|
|AST||Atlantic Standard Time (GMT – 4 hours)|
|EST||Eastern Standard Time (GMT – 5 hours)|
|CST||Central Standard Time (GMT – 6 hours)|
|MST||Mountain Standard Time (GMT – 7 hours)|
|PST||Pacific Standard Time (GMT – 8 hours)|
|AKST||Alaska Standard Time (GMT – 9 hours)|
|HST||Hawaii Standard Time (GMT – 10 hours)|
Here are a gallery of photos over on Flickr that will give you an idea of what you might see if you check out the Lunar Eclipse. If you take any photos of it drop me a comment to your Flickr link and I’ll add them to the gallery.