Total Lunar Eclipse Should Be Visible Across DFW Tonight

By Garry Seith, CBS 11 News

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Most Dallas, Fort Worth residents should be able to see the moon pass through the Earth’s shadow early Tuesday morning.

The first full lunar eclipse in 372 years on a Winter Solstice should begin at 1:41 a.m. Tuesday and last through 2:53 a.m., a total of about 72 minutes. Well before the total eclipse, there will be plenty of signs to indicate that this evening’s full moon isn’t a run-of-the-mill event. Look for these around 11:30 p.m.

Because the sun’s rays bend around Earth, our planet’s shadow has two distinct parts. The darkest part of Earth’s shadow, the umbra, creates the eclipse.

But around the periphery of the dark umbra is a lighter shadow that will likely resemble a faint halo. This is where partial shadow and sunlight combine to cast a reddish, orange color.

So when the moon pushes into this portion of the shadow, its face will begin changing color. This is called the penumbral eclipse, and it begins at about 11:29 p.m. At 12:33 a.m., the moon moves into the darkest part of Earth’s shadow, beginning the partial eclipse.

The eclipse will last roughly three and a half hours while changes to the moon’s face should last about five and a half hours.

Most in the Dallas, Fort Worth Area should be able to scope the eclipse tonight. The veil of broken clouds across many parts of North Texas throughout the day will dissipate thanks to winds shifting to the southwest overnight, thus bringing in drier air.

However, many residents living east and southeast of our main metropolitan area will likely have to contend with variable clouds throughout much of the night because the winds should remain more southerly.

EDITORS NOTE: A previous version of this story said this would be the first total lunar eclipse in 450 years; this was incorrect. It will be the first lunar eclipse on the Winter Solstice in 372 years, the last happening in 1638 . apologizes for the confusion.


One Comment

  1. Joe says:

    These eclipses have 1-2 times per year, not every 450 years.

  2. Mark says:

    Joe is correct — Total Lunar Eclipses happen fairly often (every couple of years or so) in any one location. It’s Total Solar Eclipses that happen very rarely in the same location.

  3. Erin says:

    According to, it’s the first total lunar eclipse in 2 years. Also, it has been 372 years since a total lunar eclipse and the winter solstace have occured at the same time.

  4. Erin says:

    Nevermind. Some sites are saying 372 years, some are saying 450 years. I give up!!!

  5. Star says:

    Lunar eclipses do happen often. What I think everyone is missing is that it is happening on the winter solistice!

  6. Garrett says:

    “What everyone is missing”?? The winter solstice has nothing to do with visibility of the eclipse. It’s an arbitrary date that has nothing to do with the eclipse itself. Lunar eclipses are not rare. Saying it’s the first on the winter solstice in x years is meaningless… you could make a similar claim about every eclipse date:

    “This is the first lunar eclipse on February 17th in 847 years!”
    “This is the first lunar eclipse on March 30th in 244 years!”

    See what I mean?

  7. Bill says:

    Pointing out the co-occurrence of two significant astronomical events is not equivalent to comparing to a random date. Especially when the two events would make anyone think, expert or not, whether there could be any change in our experience of the eclipse due to this particular tilt of the earth. Would it affect the coloring perhaps, due to the path of the light through the atmosphere at this tilt, over particular land and ocean? Could this tilt of the earth’s magnetic field affect the any aspect of what’s effectively a fairly complex light show? Maybe there is little correlation, but I doubt you would find any real astronomer that wouldn’t have to stop and reflect on the possibilities for some combinatorial effects. And you would not find any astronomer that would declare that a lunar eclipse on this particular day is 100% the same as one occurring on any other day.

    Frankly, stopping to consider the possible combinatorial effects makes this lunar eclipse have “more meaning” than the eclipse itself which is rather common. At least to experts.

    I’m not an astronomical expert, but I do like to point out when people have flawed logic and are unaware of their own ignorance of complex things.

    1. Kevin says:

      Yes, thank you for pointing out Garrett’s flawed logic. The date matters to whom it has significance. If it happened on my birthday, that’s cool and it is more meaningful than if didn’t happen on my birthday, but, yes, only meaningful to me. This lunar eclipse is occurring at Winter’s Solstice which just happens to be significant to every person living in the northern hemisphere “around our parts”


Comments are closed.

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE