January 16, 2019

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Observatory Opens Jan. 20-21 for Total Lunar Eclipse

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State University Observatory will be open from 10 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20, to 1 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 21, weather permitting, to give area residents an opportunity to view the full moon, total lunar eclipse, Pleiades star cluster, Orion Nebula, and other celestial wonders.  

“Sunday night will give us a full moon, a super moon, and a blood moon,” shared VSU’s Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences.

“The total lunar eclipse will be visible across all of North and South America. In Valdosta the partial eclipse will begin at 10:34 p.m. Sunday when the moon passes into the dark umbra of Earth’s shadow. It will take about an hour for the moon to move completely into the umbra and begin to change color, as red light passing through Earth’s atmosphere is bent into the moon’s path. The reddish eclipsed moon should be visible from 11:41 p.m. Sunday until 12:44 a.m. Monday, at which point the moon will exit the umbral shadow.”

Area residents may safely view the lunar eclipse at any location, from their own backyard to the VSU Observatory. This will be the last total lunar eclipse until May 2021.

The VSU Observatory will reopen from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Monday to allow visitors to observe a conjunction between Venus and Jupiter.

The VSU Observatory is located on the roof of Nevins Hall on Main Campus. Visitors should use the stairs or elevator at the southeastern entrance to reach the fourth floor (rooftop level).

Contact VSU’s Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences at (229) 333-5752 for more information.

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