This year’s winter solstice – an event that will occur Tuesday – will coincide with a full lunar eclipse in a union that hasn’t been seen in 456 years.
The celestial eccentricity holds special significance for spiritualities that tap into the energy of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and a time that is associated with the rebirth of the sun.
The last time an eclipse and the winter solstice happened simultaneously was just under five centuries years ago, Cooper said.
The last time the two celestial events happened at the same time was in AD 1554, according to NASA.
“It’s quite rare, but there’s no profound significance,” said Robert Dick, an astronomy instructor at Carleton.
The eclipse will start just after midnight Eastern Time on Tuesday, with the main event starting at 1:30 a.m. ET and lasting until 5:30 a.m., when the moon reappears.