The last time the solstice coincided with a total lunar eclipse on the same calendar day was long before any of our lifetimes. The year, according to Geoff Chester, public affairs officer at the U.S. Naval Observatory, was 1638.

The total eclipse began about 2:40 a.m. and lasted 72 minutes, until 3:52 a.m. The moon then continued moving through the Earth's shadow, emerging completely sometime after 5 a.m.

The winter solstice, which occurs later in the day, is the time when the sun reaches its lowest point in the northern sky. The Naval Observatory said this year's solstice will be at 6:38 p.m.
Lunar Eclipse 2010Three PhasesPassing through the shadow of the earth