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A full moon enters the final stage of a full lunar eclipse Tuesday Aug. 28, 2007, in Niagara Falls, Ont.

Dr. Brian Pihack/Canadian Press

The first total lunar eclipse to fall on the winter solstice in over 300 years is generating significant discussion from amateur astronomers - and the Twittersphere - in the lead up to Tuesday morning's big cosmic show. The Moon will pass through the shadow of the Earth, blocking the sun's rays from striking the Moon.

But whether or not you'll be able to see it depends entirely on where you're located.



Environment Canada said skies over Toronto, Winnipeg and Ottawa would be cloudy Tuesday evening, while conditions appear to be clearer in places like Calgary or Regina.

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Catching a glimpse of the eclipse may also require some patience and a late-night coffee. It's not supposed to start until 1:33 a.m. (ET) Tuesday morning.

But online comment boards and Twitter feeds indicate that won't be much of a problem. The lunar eclipse is a trending topic on Twitter, and countless users are writing about how they plan to stay up to watch as the Moon aligns with the stars of the Milky Way.

And, because watching rare lunar activity isn't enough, NASA has set up a live feed of the eclipse, and a live chat. There's also an iPhone app that can help users track movements and display the eclipse.

The next time a total lunar eclipse will fall on the winter solstice is not expected to occur until 2094.

Maybe we should look to the heavens, rather than our computer screens, for a display that likely won't be replicated for another 80 years or so.

What do you think? Is the lunar activity app redundant, or a great way to enhance your cosmic experience?

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About the Author

Carly Weeks has been a journalist with The Globe and Mail since 2007.  She has reported on everything from federal politics to the high levels of sodium in the Canadian diet. More

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