A total lunar eclipse gives the moon a lovely hue ranging from a vibrant scarlet that is reminiscent of a sunset to a more ruby red. To witness such beauty is a rare occasion. However on September 27th, this scarce occurrence will be glimpsed by everyone on the dark side of the earth. Thanks to Dr. Mike Reynolds, professor of astronomy at Kent Campus, advisor over the Astronomy Club, and the Northeast Florida Astronomical Society, telescopes will be provided at FSCJ’s South Campus for closer examination of this spectacular event. This event is a gathering is for casual observers and astronomers alike. The telescopes will be found east of parking lot D from 9:00 PM to 11:30 PM. Attendees are free to bring a date, friend, or family member–the general public as well as FSCJ’s students are welcome.
Total lunar eclipses differ from partial lunar eclipses in that the entire moon is illuminated and changes shades from a silver to the red-orange described. Since a total lunar eclipse requires the moon to be completely overshadowed by the Earth, for the moon to reach totality is somewhat of a rare occasion. “A total lunar eclipse can be witnessed in Jacksonville about once every four years,” Dr. Reynolds explained. “The eclipse Sunday will be about 72 minutes long.”
Estimates are that the partial eclipse phase will occur from 9:12pm to 10:10pm. The totality phase will occur from 10:11pm to 11:23pm. The final partial phase will begin at 11:24pm and end at 12:27am on September 28th. Thankfully, seeing the moon with the naked eye should be easy since the moon will be what many are referring to as a super moon. This means that the moon will be at a position that is very close close to the earth, making it appear much larger than usual.
While some may not enjoy the thought of stargazing, even the less scientifically inclined will enjoy this event–if not for the beautiful spectacle, for the chance to enjoy a night close to the beach with friends and classmates. Meteorologists predict that it will be partly cloudy on Sunday night for residents of Jacksonville, but because of the super moon phenomena as well as the telescopes being provided, hopes are rather high for the the evening.
Please join FSCJ for this splendid occasion and day of notoriety for astronomy.
Article Submitted by – Alice Davis