Oregon Star Parties for Total Lunar Eclipse on April 15
(Portland, Oregon) – Get ready for a pair of OMSI Star Parties of a spectacular sort where you'll get a distinctive view of a total lunar eclipse. Portland's OMSI will host the first of two lunar eclipse viewings in 2014 on Monday night, April 14.
That evening the full moon will slide through the dark shadow of the Earth and for 73 minutes the only light hitting the Moon will be a reddish glow from all of Earth’s sunrises and sunsets resulting in a total lunar eclipse. Weather permitting; a free viewing of the eclipse will begin at 9:30 pm at Milo McIver State Park in Estacada. 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 spring night sky.
Todd said that unlike solar eclipses in which the Sun's rays can damage the eyes, lunar eclipses are safe to watch with the naked eye. These stellar shows are unique in that no one can predict what color the Moon will turn during totality. Binoculars and telescopes will enhance the view.
At 9:55 pm the penumbral eclipse begins, and then by 10:59 pm the umbral shadow will take a small, dark bite out of the left edge of the Moon. For the next 69 minutes of this partial phase, darkness will swallow more and more of the Moon's disk as it slides into the shadow.
The partial eclipse ends and totality begins at 12:08 am with the point of the greatest eclipse occurring at 12:46 am. The eclipse’s total phase will last for 73 minutes.
The Moon will be 33 degrees above the southern horizon at the instant of the greatest eclipse. Finally, the partial eclipse ends at 2:32 am.
You want to check the OMSI Star Parties Hotline that day, however: (503) 797-4000. Conditions could cause cancellation. Or check the OMSI Star Parties web site http://www.omsi.edu/starparties. The event starts at 9:30 pm 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.
More eclipse images below: