University News

Lunar Eclipse Viewing at SUU's Ashcroft Observatory

Published: February 19, 2008 | Category: Special Events

The second of two total lunar eclipses in the past 5 months will splash across the skies of Cedar City this Wednesday, February 20. Once again, Southern Utah University’s Ashcroft Observatory will open its doors (and telescopes) to the public free of charge.

The next total lunar eclipse will not be visible from Cedar City until December 20-21, 2010.

The Observatory will open at 6:30 p.m. and will remain open for the duration of the eclipse, weather permitting. SUU invites local community members to join us in watching the celestial event through several telescopes at the Observatory, where good company and a good time should be had by all in attendance.

The partial phase of the eclipse will begin at 6:43 p.m. The total lunar eclipse will begin at 8:00 p.m. This full immersion of the moon in the umbra of the earth will last for 52 minutes. During this time, the moon will appear red or orange-yellow to observers, as the only light reaching the moon will have been refracted through the earth’s atmosphere. After 8:52, the moon will once again give the appearance of the partial phase until 10:09 that evening. The Observatory will close shortly after 10:00 p.m.

If you would like to bring your own telescope to watch the eclipse or get expert advice on the use and care of telescopes, please feel free to bring it with you. SUU Professors Brent Sorensen and Laura Cotts will be there to adjust telescopes and answer questions about the event as it unfolds.

Directions to SUU's Ashcroft Observatory: Turn left on Westview Drive (opposite the Lund highway) off of highway 56 as you leave town going west on 200 North, and then just follow the signs.

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