Oregon Astronomy: Lunar Eclipse Party Just East of Portland
(Estacada, Oregon) – Not all parties start in the middle of the night – but this one does, and it's well worth it. OMSI and other organizations will be holding an event just east of Portland on the morning of October 8 that will let you get downright stellar: getting a good view of the lunar eclipse. (Note: we apologize that this article is appearing on Google News with the incorrect headline - but this is not our doing. They should have that corrected quickly)
OMSI's Jim Todd said on that morning, the Full Moon will slide through the dark shadow of the Earth and for 58 minutes the only light hitting the Moon will be the reddish glow from Earth’s sunrises and sunsets resulting in a total lunar eclipse. Weather permitting, a free viewing of the eclipse will begin at 1:00 am at at Milo McIver State Park in Estacada with the Rose City Astronomers, and Oregon Parks and Recreations will have telescopes set up for attendees to use. OMSI Space Science Director, Jim Todd, will be presenting informal talks about the lunar eclipse and the autumn night sky.
Unlike solar eclipses in which the Sun's rays can damage the eyes, lunar eclipses are safe to watch with the naked eye. Lunar eclipses are unique in that no one can predict what color the Moon will turn during totality. Binoculars and telescopes will enhance the view.
The penumbral eclipse begins at 1:17 am and the umbral shadow will take a small, dark bite out of the left edge of the Moon starting at 2:18 am. For 61 minutes of the partial phase, the darkness engulfs more of the Moon's disk as it slides into the shadow. The partial eclipse ends and totality begins at 3:27 am and the point of the greatest eclipse occurs at 3:55 am. The eclipse’s total phase will lasts for 58 minutes. The Moon will be 34 degrees above the southern horizon at the instant of the greatest eclipse. Finally, the partial eclipse ends at 5:32 am.
On the scheduled day of the Total Lunar Eclipse Viewing Party, it is suggested that interested visitors call the OMSI Star Parties Hotline, (503) 797-4000 #3 then #5, or check the OMSI Star Parties web site http://www.omsi.edu/starparties for possible weather-related cancellations. The event starts at 1:00 am and is free with $5 park fee per vehicle. Warm clothing is a must, and a flashlight with red light is recommended. Personal telescopes and binoculars are always welcome.
To reach Milo McIver State Park (24101 S Entrance Road, Estacada, OR), from I-205, take OR-213 S to Redland Road unto S. Redland Road, turn right on S. Springwater Road and turn left to S Entrance Road. The park is located 23 miles southeast of Portland.
Below: video of a a Blood Moon earlier this year: