Events set up for lunar eclipse Sept. 27
The East Coast will have a front row seat on Sept. 27 to a total lunar eclipse of a supermoon, and some observatories in the Pittsburgh area are offering special programs to see the rare celestial site — as long as the skies are clear.
The Sept. 27 total lunar eclipse, when the entire full moon passes through Earth’s dark umbral shadow, will end a series of four consecutive eclipses that could be seen during the past two years in North America. The supermoon is when a full moon makes its closest approach to Earth, making it appear larger. The total eclipse lasts from 9:11 to 10:23 p.m.
The Carnegie Science Center is celebrating the lunar eclipse Sept. 27 with a special SkyWatch program.
Astronomy fans can come to the free event, from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m., to see the eclipse from the North Shore center’s back lawn, along the North Shore Riverwalk. Staff from the Buhl Planetarium will provide telescopes and talk with guests about the astronomical activity.
The SkyWatch event is weather-dependent and will only happen under clear skies. If you want to go, call 412-237-3327 the night of the session to confirm. Details: carnegiesciencecenter.org
The Nicholas E. Wagman Observatory in Deer Lakes Park in Frazer and the Mingo Observatory in Finleyville, Washington County, will both be open to the public for the total lunar eclipse Sept. 27. Guests also will have the opportunity to observe Neptune and Uranus and other celestial wonders during this event. Admission is free, but donations are accepted to cover the cost of operation.
The Wagman Star Party will be held weather-permitting. To check on conditions the night of the event, call 724-224-2510. The Mingo Planetarium presentations will occur regardless of weather; however, outdoor eclipse observation is subject to cancellation.
There won’t be another total lunar eclipse until 2018.
NASA will provide a live video feed of the entire eclipse — an option in case clouds obscure your view. Right now, the forecast isn’t very conducive to star-watching that night, with clouds and some rain predicted.