Despite the gloomy weather, Bay Area skywatchers and mere curiosity seekers like myself are tracking tonight's total lunar eclipse. It is a very rare event because it falls on the same day as the northern winter solstice -- the moment at which the Earth's north axis is tilted farthest from the sun, giving us our shortest day and longest night of the year, and heralding the first day of winter. According to NASA Science News, there's only been one other lunar eclipse on the northern winter solstice in the last 2,000 years . . . and that one was back in 1638.
The photo above was taken at 10:40 p.m. from our backyard. The splendid full moon of the solstice can been seen through a thin veiling of fog. It looks like the Christmas star, but don't try to follow it!
I took this follow-up photo at 11:50 p.m., ten minutes past "totality." What I saw -- or thought I saw -- and tried to get a picture of was the last tiny fingernail clipping of light disappearing behind a thicker layer of fog. I don't know why it was still visible at that point in the process. When I enhanced the photo there was indeed a small pale smudge in the center, but I couldn't get the enhanced photo to upload. There are far better photos and videos of the whole event all over the internet; nonetheless, it's nice to keep a personal vantage point on the cosmos from one's own backyard.