This year's Winter Solstice is marked by a rare confluence of astronomical events that has not happened for nearly four centuries - since 1638 - and will not occur again until 2094: a total lunar eclipse of a full moon that falls on the shortest day of the year - a virtual rebirth of the sun from the darkest depths of winter. This year's lunar festivities get underway around 10:30 p.m. Mountain Time, December 20th, peaking just after 1 a.m. on Tuesday the 21st, and will be visible throughout the Western hemisphere. Click on the chart to the right for more info, and to see where the eclipse will be visible. The darkness of a winter eclipse provides excellent opportunities for star gazing, and tend to be more colorful due to atmospheric ice crystals. Also make sure to check out the star cluster Messier 35 in the constellation Gemini, which will be visible just a few degrees above the eclipsed moon.