A total lunar eclipse on the winter solstice

There’s a total lunar eclipse tonight and creeping into tomorrow morning. Tomorrow also marks the day of the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, making this eclipse an unusual one; the last total lunar eclipse to happen on the winter solstice happened on 21 December 1638. This smells of inspiration for a story, and I’ll be staying up for at least some of it.

You see, my first script for Script Frenzy in 2007 was driven by a total solar eclipse, specifically the 1 August 2008 eclipse, even though it hadn’t happened yet. My main character was an astronomer, and her desire to chase an eclipse was part of her character. The events that followed turned her life upside down, except without a prince of Bel-Air. Surely a lunar eclipse could provoke a plot as well.

I might not stay up for all of it; my brain’s still working out the best plan for catching the best parts since the peak is around 3am in my time zone. That aside, it’s cold out there, and my body doesn’t handle the cold very well. I may catch the first part and then take a catnap until 3am to view the end of the eclipse. I do like my sleep as well, after all. If clouds, geography, or the cold are keeping you from viewing the eclipse, NASA is livestreaming the eclipse. Technology is great, isn’t it?

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