Here's an early Christmas present from space. A lunar eclipse is a fascinating vision - at full eclipse, the moon turns red.
This Saturday, December 10, the Bitterroot Valley will be one of the places you'll be able to see the Earth pass between the sun and the moon, creating a moving shadow across the moon easily visible for over three hours.
Now, the weather is the key for us - with clouds being the big party-crasher, but it's always a good idea to check, even if the forecast is bad. That red moon is very cool.
What time is this happening?
According to the astronomers, for us in Hamilton, Montana, the visible partial eclipse should be evident at 5:45 and a full eclipse will be from 7am to 8am with the "greatest shadow" at 7:30am - give or take a few minutes.
Now, these are times for a whole time zone, so they will not be exact. And somewhere along this time line, the moon will be setting over the Bitterroot Mountains.
My suggestion is to look between 6am and 7am, and then check back every so often to watch the progression of the shadow. It's too cold to just stand outside very long.
You don't need a telescope, though it is interesting to zoom in with a pair of binoculars or a good camera with a zoom lens.