News Column

Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight Should be Easily Viewed in Dallas Area

December 21, 2010

Tom Benning

Balmy weather and mostly clear skies should make for ideal conditions in the Dallas area to watch a total lunar eclipse after midnight tonight.

Starting around 12:30 a.m., the moon will turn orange and then dark red, as the Earth blocks the sun's rays and casts a shadow on the lunar surface.

The complete eclipse, viewable across the United States, will happen sometime between 1:40 a.m. and 2:50 a.m., said Joe Harris, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

The moon will be high in the sky because the eclipse falls on the winter solstice, when Earth's axial tilt is farthest from the sun.

Skies should be clear in North Texas, although there could be some cloud cover to the east, Harris said. Temperatures will be in the mid-50s, he said.

According to NASA, this will be the last opportunity to see a total lunar eclipse in the continental United States until April 15, 2014.

Source: Copyright (c) 2010, The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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