Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Eclipse on the Solstice

On the solstice, December 20, we were treated to a spectacular show, a total lunar eclipse at midnight here on the Pacific Coast. We are in the midst of winter storms with lots of rain coming in succession from Hawaii or from the Gulf of Alaska. So our weather vacillates between warm and cool storms. That evening by some amazing coincidence the clouds parted to give us a glorious show. We were able to see the full moon with stars and the Orion constellation, and then through various cloud veils and at times complete clearings, we could see the moon as it eclipsed. At total eclipse the moon was in a clearing and as a bonus we saw an orange shooting star and it crossed right in front of Orion. I still can't believe it.

In anticipation of the eclipse, my husband, Nicolai set up his art supplies outside on a table under the clouds. The clouds parted from time to time to reveal the moon in the penumbral shadow. The drawings below are his recording of the event.

This is the first lunar eclipse to fall on the winter solstice since 1638. The next solstice eclipse will be in 2094. In the meantime there will be lunar eclipses at other times during the year.

To see more of Nicolai's work go to his website:
www.nicolailarsen.com or Facebook/Nicolai Larsen