Public invited to view lunar eclipse at U of S observatory

Members of the public will have the rare opportunity to view a total lunar eclipse at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) Campus Observatory on Sunday night.

The observatory will be open for free viewing of the lunar eclipse between 7:30 and 10:30 pm. The total phase of the eclipse will last from 8:11 to 9:23 pm, with partial eclipses visible, if skies are clear, an hour before and running for an hour later. The moon will be situated very low in the eastern sky, just two degrees above the horizon as the Earth's shadow begins to cover the moon's diameter.

This is the second total lunar eclipse of 2015, but the last one visible in the Saskatoon region until 2018.

"We are going to see a rather unusual event on Sunday evening when the full moon is going to pass into the Earth's shadow," said Stan Shadick, an instructor in the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics at the U of S.

"During the eclipse in the first phase, I like to say that the moon is going to appear as if some sort of cosmic Cookie Monster has been gradually chomping away at the moon. And during the total phase of the eclipse, the moon will take on a dark red, blood red or brownish red colour. So you will see that strange colour of the moon in the evening sky and that will fade as more of the moon emerges from the shadow of the Earth."

Observatory staff and volunteers at the U of S will be on hand to help the public viewing through the Duncan refractor telescope. The observatory is located on campus, one block north of College Drive at 108 Wiggins Road.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Stan Shadick
Physics and Engineering Physics Department
University of Saskatchewan

James Shewaga
Media Relations Specialist
University of Saskatchewan
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