Public Invited to View Total Lunar Eclipse on Sept. 27

UCR astronomers have organized a viewing in Parking Lot 30; public talk and how-to-use-a-telescope workshop also planned

A total lunar eclipse takes place when the Earth comes between the sun and the moon, the Earth fully covering the moon with its circular shadow. The light from the sun goes through the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere, acting much like light does during a sunset or sunrise. The reddish light diminishes the brightness of the moon during the eclipse. Photo credit: Johannes Schedler.

A total lunar eclipse will be visible in America the night of Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015 – the last total lunar eclipse visible in California until 2018.

UCR’s Department of Physics and Astronomy is hosting a viewing of the eclipse in Parking Lot 30, Section 3, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Sept. 27. The eclipse will reach its maximum at 7:48 p.m. Totality starts at 7:11 p.m. and ends at 8:23 p.m. Parking is free in Section 3 of Lot 30 for  the event.  Parking permits will be handed out.

“Visible with the unaided eye and harmless, the umbral phase of the eclipse will have already started in California when the moon is rising above the horizon and will end at 9:27 p.m.,” said Mario De Leo Winkler, a postdoctoral researcher and astronomer, who is organizing the viewing. “Lunar eclipses offer us excellent opportunities to see the moon in full detail.”

A total lunar eclipse, which happens only during a full moon, takes place when the Earth comes between the sun and the moon, the Earth fully covering the moon with its circular shadow.

The penumbral phase of the eclipse occurs at the beginning and end of the eclipse. This is when a dim shadow of the Earth is cast over the moon, barely detectable with the naked eye. The umbral phase of the eclipse, on the other hand, takes place when the darkest shadow of the Earth is cast on the moon, which is clearly visible with the naked eye.

TelescopeOther events:

A public talk, titled “Lunar Eclipses,” will take place at UC Riverside on Friday, Sept. 25, in Bourns Hall A265. The hour-long talk, given by De Leo-Winkler, will begin at 7 p.m. For parking information, please click here. In the talk De Leo-Winkler will discuss the historical importance of lunar eclipses and their use in astronomy, how they happen, the Danjon Scale and the next eclipses visible in the continental United States.

The next day, Saturday, Sept. 26, starting at 6 p.m., UCR astronomers will teach the public how to use a telescope. The two-hour workshop is free and open to the public. It will take place at the Riverside STEM Academy, 4466 Mt. Vernon Ave., Riverside. Parking is free. Members of the public are requested to bring their own telescopes and their accessories to the workshop, and register first at

Faculty and graduate students from the Department of Physics and Astronomy will be available at all three events to answer questions from the public in English and Spanish. Sign-language interpreters will be available on Sunday, Sept. 27. For more information about the viewing, lecture and workshop, email or call (951) 255-9706.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-6050
Twitter: UCR_Sciencenews

Additional Contacts

Mario De Leo Winkler
Tel: (951) 255-9706

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