This month’s young moon brought it close to Venus and Jupiter for a nice alignment. Jupiter isn’t actually in this little thumbnail view. Click on the photo for the enlarged view which shows all 3 objects.
The December 2011 lunar eclipse was not favoring southern California from the very start. The timing was such that totality would occur just at sunrise, and therefore moonset. The weather added to the unfavorable conditions. Just after midnight, clouds obscured the sky and a ring was visible around the full moon.
The moon entered the partial phase of the eclipse in cloudy skies, but as totality (and sunrise) approached, the clouds miraculously parted, yielding a clear patch of sky in the direction of the moon.
The final moments were a race between the brightening skies of sunset and the darkening moon as it fully entered the shadow of the earth.