Eclipse once in a blue moon event
January 27, 2018
There hasn’t been another one in your lifetime, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to see a blue moon total solar eclipse on Wednesday, Jan. 31.
Western Nevada College will assist in the enjoyment of the first total lunar eclipse in nearly 152 years with a free viewing parting from 3:15 to 7 a.m. at Jack C. Davis Observatory.
The lunar eclipse will be even more unique by the fact that the day will double as a blue moon, marking the second full moon of the month. The last time such a lunar event occurred was March 31, 1866. Additional total eclipses of a blue moon will happen in 2028 and 2037.
“The eclipse will begin with shadow onset at 3:48 a.m. and reach totality at about 4:51 a.m.,” said Thomas Herring, JCDO director and WNC physics professor. “The moon will reach the center of Earth’s shadow at 5:29 a.m. and the total eclipse will end at 6:07 am. The moon will set behind the Sierras before the shadow completely moves off the moon’s disk.”
Herring said that there will be telescope viewing available to the public, as well as video from JCDO’s 14-inch telescope on the big screen inside, weather permitting. There will also be a large pot of coffee on hand for the early morning event.
Jim Bean, Carson High School physics/astronomy teacher and observatory volunteer, and several of his students will be on hand recording video of the event.
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The next lunar eclipse visible in Western Nevada will be Jan. 20, 2019, according to Herring.
The observatory is located at 2699 Van Patten Drive in Carson City.