College observatory features eclipse party |

College observatory features eclipse party

Staff Reports

The first blue moon total lunar eclipse in 150 years will be the main attraction this month at the Jack C. Davis Observatory in Carson City on Jan. 31.

Viewing at the observatory, located on the campus of Western Nevada College, is 3:15-7 a.m.

The lunar eclipse is made more rare by the fact it is the second full moon of the month.

“The eclipse will begin with shadow onset at 3:48 a.m. and reach totality at about 4:51 a.m.,” said observatory director and physics professor Thomas Herring. “The moon will reach the center of Earth’s shadow at 5:29 a.m. and the total eclipse will end at 6:07 a.m. The moon will set behind the Sierra 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 the observatory’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.

The next lunar eclipse visible in Western Nevada will be Jan. 20, 2019, according to Herring.

Western Nevada graduate Jeremiah Paul will talk about stellar archaeology 6:30 p.m. Jan. 27.

Paul is nearly done with his bachelor’s degree in physics and astronomy at the University of Nevada, Reno, and will soon begin graduate studies.

The observatory is located at 2699 Van Patten Drive in Carson City.