Monday, December 20, 2010

Moonshine

It's gonna be a kick-ass moon tonight. A gift from Heaven at Christmas time.
Perfectly timed, as you would expect.
Tomorrow morning, early, for the first time in 372 years, since 1638, a total lunar eclipse will fall on the winter solstice. The eclipse begins at 2:32 a.m. (CST) and it will be total from 3:41 a.m. until 4:53 a.m.--a really long time, 72 minutes. (Story here and here.) And the show will be spectacular because the moon will take on a hue, anywhere from bright orange to red, depending the state of the Earth's atmosphere at the time. I'm gonna be up and so is my dearest spouse, somewhat of a surprise, actually. But I'll be delighted to share this with her. There's lots of good stuff on the Web about this, and if you're clouded over, you can watch the whole thing live via Google Earth.

Being a crazed historian, I got to thinking what was going on in the world in 1638, the last time this happened. So for your edification, a partial list:


    Portrait of an 83-year-old Woman

    Charles I on Horseback


    Prince Baltasar Carlos as a Hunter

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