2015 2015: UMass Dartmouth Observatory open for lunar eclipse viewing event

2015 2015: UMass Dartmouth Observatory open for lunar eclipse viewing event
UMass Dartmouth Observatory open for lunar eclipse viewing event

Public invited to view lunar eclipse

Observatory at night
Public invited to view lunar eclipse.

The UMass Dartmouth Observatory and the Bristol Community College Astronomy Club invite the public to a lunar eclipse viewing event beginning at 9 p.m. this Sunday, September 27. Viewing of the Moon and other celestial objects will take place during the evening through the Observatory's 16-inch telescope and other telescopes.

Sunday will offer a special opportunity for astronomy fans of all ages. The Moon will be situated about as close as it ever comes to Earth. It will also be a Harvest Moon, the full moon phase that occurs closest in time to the Autumnal Equinox, which signifies the start of the fall season in the Northern Hemisphere.

The eclipse itself begins shortly after 9 p.m. with prominent darkening of the Moon's disk starting around 10:10 p.m. and maximum darkening at 10:47 p.m. as Earth's curved shadow will be visible on the Moon's face for about a half hour both before and after maximum.

This event will take place only if the weather permits (clear skies). In the event of cancellation, an announcement will be available Sunday, September 27 around 6 p.m. by calling (508) 999-8715 for a recorded message.

Observatory telescope

The Observatory is located in the field to the right of the main entrance to UMass Dartmouth off Old Westport Road. Parking is available in designated spaces on Ring Road or in Lot 17.  Admission is free. Children are welcome to attend, if accompanied by an adult.

For more information about the Observatory, to make a donation to its operations, or to become an individual or corporate sponsor, please contact Physics Professor Alan Hirshfeld (ahirshfeld@umassd.edu or 508-999-8715).

Regular Fall 2015 night-sky viewing sessions at the campus Observatory are scheduled for:

Saturday, November 7, 2015, 7 p.m.

Saturday, December 5, 2015, 7 p.m.

UMass Dartmouth distinguishes itself as a vibrant public university actively engaged in personalized teaching and innovative research, and acting as an intellectual catalyst for regional economic, social, and cultural development. UMass Dartmouth's mandate to serve its community is realized through countless partnerships, programs, and other outreach efforts to engage the community, and apply its knowledge to help address local issues and empower others to facilitate change for all.