To see the last lunar eclipse of 2010 you will need to stay up late… or get up really early!
On the east coast of the US, the lunar eclipse starts at 1:33 am (ET) the morning of December 21, and goes until 5:01 am (ET), according to NASA. The total eclipse of the moon starts at 2:41 am and lasts 72 minutes. The lunar eclipse is easily, and safely, viewed without the aid of a telescope.
Christmas telescopes might end up being unwrapped a bit early, though, in anticipation of a more detailed view of the lunar surface. Light rays bending around and through the edges of the earth’s atmosphere are expected to bathe the moon in sunset like colors, ranging from yellows to oranges and even dark brick reds.
On the west coast of the US, the total eclipse will begin on December 20, at 11:41 pm (PT).
This lunar eclipse coincides with the winter solstice, which means the moon will appear high overhead, making it easy to watch if the weather is good. Astronomers say that, due to recent volcanic eruptions that have dumped tons of ash and dust into the atmosphere, this may be a much darker lunar eclipse than usual.
The total eclipse will be visible in Greenland, Iceland, North America, Central America and western portions of South America. Western Europe will see the early stages of the eclipse before the moon sets, and parts of Asia will get to see a partial eclipse when the moon rises.