Lunar eclipse overlaps Winter Solstice

LOS ANGELES The Earth began to pass directly between the sun and the moon, gradually casting its giant shadow on our only natural satellite.

Stargazers in the Los Angeles area, however, were mostly unable to see it due to rain clouds.

Totality began at 11:40 p.m. and lasted more than an hour.

This lunar eclipse also occurred on the same day of the Winter Solstice, the first time that's happened since 1638.

There are two total lunar eclipses in 2011, in June and December. North America will miss the June show and witness only a part of next December eclipse.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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