University News

SUU Observatory Ready for Total Eclipse

Published: August 24, 2007 | Category: Community Outreach

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, August 28, the moon will pass through the earth's shadow, causing a total eclipse of the moon visible from earth. SUU's Physical Science Department and the Ashcroft Observatory will offer free viewing of this rare astronomical event beginning at 2:30 a.m. that Tuesday morning.

A Total Eclipse passes through three phases. The partial phase will begin at approximately 2:51 a.m. MDT. The total phase will begin at around 3:52 a.m. (lasting for 1 hour and 31 minutes). During this stage, the moon will pass through the umbra, or darkest part of the earth's shadow. The partial phase after totality will end at 6:24 a.m.

The Ashcroft observatory will have telescopes set up to view the coppery red moon as it slips through the shadows until the moon sets hours later. This event is open to the public, and participants are encouraged to bring their own binoculars or telescopes as well for maximum viewing time. Although the eclipse will be visible without a telescope, and can also be viewed from backyards around Southern Utah, scientists advise using at least binoculars to get the full effect of the eclipse.

To get to the observatory, travel west on 200 North until you come to the intersection of Westview Drive and the Lund highway with highway 56. Turn left on Westview Drive, and follow the signs to the observatory about 1.25 miles from the turnoff.

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