If you love space and the wonder of how it all works, make sure to be on Memory Mall from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 27, for a chance to see a total lunar eclipse.
UCF’s Robinson Observatory is sponsoring the event on the mall as part of their “Knights Under The Stars” series to give students, faculty, staff and the general public a chance to see the eclipse from one of its 10 mobile telescopes. Faculty and students from UCF’s Planetary Sciences Group and from the Astronomy Society at UCF will be on hand to help participants with the telescopes and provide expert commentary about what they are seeing.
“This is the last total lunar eclipse visible from Florida for three and a half years,” said Yan Fernandez, an associate professor of physics at UCF and director of the observatory. “This is a great opportunity to see the moon up close during a rare event. We should also be able to sneak a peek at Saturn and its rings while we’re out there. We can’t wait to share the excitement with students, faculty, staff, the general community and children especially, even if the next day they have school.”
A total lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes entirely into Earth’s shadow and gets cut off from all direct sunlight. The moon takes on a dramatic red hue as some sunlight bends around Earth while passing through our atmosphere. The alignment of the sun, the moon, and Earth has to be quite precise for an eclipse to happen. This also happens to be what NASA calls a super moon event. Click here for more about that.
The total lunar eclipse is expected to last from 10:11 to 11:23 p.m. with partial eclipse views available before and after. Bring a chair and blanket in case it gets chilly and check the observatory’s Facebook page beforehand to ensure rain doesn’t cancel the event.
Robinson Observatory is a research and education facility run by the faculty and students of the Planetary Sciences Group and the Astronomy Society within the Department of Physics. For more about the observatory click here.
For more information about the event contact Fernandez at [email protected] or at 407-823-6939.