FAR OUT

Rare Lunar Eclipse Coming Monday

Get ready, star-gazers: A lunar eclipse is coming on Monday night. It’ll be the only eclipse of 2010, and—if the weather cooperates—far more visible than the two slated for 2011. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon, and Earth are all in alignment, with the Earth in the middle preventing the sun’s rays from hitting the moon, giving the satellite a ghostly color. The occasion is a special treat for astronomy buffs, since it coincides with the winter solstice. That will position the moon high in the sky for easy visibility during the eclipse. The spectacle will be seen from the West Coast Monday night and in the wee hours of Tuesday on the East Coast.