Monday, 20 December 2010

December 20th 2010

Not been out birding today but Pete had a 16 Waxwing in Dunchurch so they are still around.

Andy kindly reminded me about this event so found this article on the Guardian web site.
Lunar eclipse and winter solstice to coincide for first time in 372 years
Tomorrow's lunar eclipse over Britain will fall on the shortest day of the year – the winter solstice – for the first time since 1638
The skies over Britain will turn a dark shade of red tomorrow morning as the moon moves into the Earth's shadow in a rare lunar eclipse.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth and moon are almost exactly in line, with the moon and sun on opposite sides of our home planet.
The alignment will cause the full moon to appear much dimmer than usual, but sunlight passing through the Earth's atmosphere will give the lunar surface a deep reddish hue at dawn.
The eclipse is due to begin at 5.28am, as the moon enters the lightest part of Earth's shadow, known as the penumbra. In this early phase of the eclipse, the moon will appear yellowish in the pre-dawn sky.
A more significant dimming begins as the moon enters into the darker part of Earth's shadow at 6.32am and becomes completely eclipsed at 7.40am.
For the first time in 372 years the lunar eclipse coincides with the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. In addition, both sun and eclipsed moon will briefly be visible above the horizon – cloud cover permitting – in an unusual event called a selenehelion.

Unfortunately my local weather forecast is not brilliant with Snow followed by freezing fog and 51% cloud cover.


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