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Winter solstice tomorrow -- plus a full moon -- and a lunar eclipse

Tomorrow will be winter solstice day -- the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. The precise moment, which marks the beginning of winter -- will arrive at 6:38 p.m. Coupled with the anticipated lunar eclipse of the full moon, it could shape up to be one dark day.

The last time we've have a full moon on the winter solstice here was in 1999, and it's not set to happen again until 2094. Add to that the unlikelihood of a lunar eclipse completing the trifecta, and this becomes a special event indeed.

If you detest the winter as much as I do, there's a silver lining in the solstice. Though the day will provide the shortest span of sunlight of the year, those of us who have a glass that's half full recognize that there's no way to go from here but up. Starting tomorrow, the days will progressively get longer. In other words, spring is on the way. 

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth aligns with the sun and the moon, essentially blocking light from the moon -- in this case, the full moon -- and darkening it completely. Though the moon will be dark, a reddish glow should begin to become visible tomorrow morning at 1:33 a.m., as the Earth's shadow gradually moves across the moon. By 3:17 a.m., the sky should be completly dark, with no glow and no moon visible at all.

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