December 21, 2010

The Moon Over Manhattan

Last night in New York, we had clear though blustery cold weather for the locals, if they were awake and outside, to watch the total lunar eclipse. The eclipse occurred on the same date as the winter solstice. The last such event took place on December 21, 1638. In this place and in that time, residents of New Amsterdam, the Dutch colony, and their indigenous American neighbors may have glimpsed up at a portentous red moon.

3:14 a.m. lunar eclipse as seen from somewhere in the Village.

From a balcony in the village once known to the Dutch as Noortwyck (present-day Greenwich Village), the moon looked full, orange-red, and dimensional, as the shadow of the Earth gave it shape. As the moon passed into eclipse and darkened, other stars that normally would not appear to the naked eye in the Manhattan sky revealed themselves. It was a beautiful and rare starry sky, but the star-struck night was hard to capture on a mobile phone.



Three hours later, the moon hung low and shimmering over the village. Its final setting was, in fact, elegant.

6:34 a.m.

6:38 a.m.

The next event of a lunar eclipse coinciding with the winter solstice is scheduled for 2094.

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple, taken with an iPhone 4, HDR Pro app, in the wee hours of December 21, 2010.

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