October 18, 2013
You may have noticed the full moon Friday night, but did you catch the lunar eclipse?
A partial lunar eclipse happened around 7:51 p.m. and ended a couple minutes later.
Afterwards, the University of Virginia's McCormick Observatory held their monthly public night. Plenty of star gazers gathered and got a chance to look through the observatory's telescope at the moon's Copernicus crater.
A presenter at the observatory said if it wasn't cloudy where you were tonight, you would have seen the moon dim slightly, become a little red, and then gradually brighten back to normal.
"They would have seen it get a little darker. It might have had a red tint to it. It depends on how good your eyes are at seeing it. But you have to have really good eyes in general just to even notice the difference and besides it was cloudy tonight, anyway. So, some people, what they might have thought was the moon getting dimmer and brighter could have actually just been a cloud" said Gregory Dorsey, an historic presenter at the Observatory and a student at the Curry School of Education.
Lunar eclipses are more common than solar eclipses. The next solar eclipse visible on the eastern side of America will be in 2017, though one would have to travel to Tennessee to see it.
McCormick observatory is open on the public on the first and third Friday night of each month. For the times and more information, visit the public outreach and schedule page here.
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