UNA Pressroom

Una Planetarium To Host Public Observation Of Lunar Eclipse Jan. 20

Jan. 15, 2019

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

Dr. Mel Blake, Physics and Earth Science

FLORENCE, Ala.- The Shoals and the State of Alabama will be in for a treat this weekend when a total lunar eclipse occurs Jan. 20 and 21. In addition, the University of North Alabama Planetarium will host a Public Observation complete with telescopes, as part of the event.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the full moon passes into the shadow of the Earth. The result is the Moon slowly goes from a full Moon to a dark red color and back to completely full in a few hours. This weekend's eclipse should begin around 8:30 p.m., and last until the early morning of Jan. 21.

There are several stages of lunar eclipses. The first stage is the penumbral stage, when from the point of view of an observer on the Moon, the Earth only blocks part of the Sun. The next stage is the partial-eclipse phase, where parts of the moon have light from the Sun entirely blocked. The total eclipse stage occurs when the entire Moon is within the Earth's shadow. After the total eclipse, the sequence of events reverses, with a partial eclipse followed by a penumbral stage at the end.

The total eclipse stage is often called the "Blood Moon," because the Moon takes on a dark red color. This is caused by red light passing through the Earth's atmosphere, hitting the Moon's surface and reflecting back to us.

The penumbral stage of the upcoming eclipse will begin at about 8:36 p.m., Jan 20. The partial eclipse will begin 9:33 p.m., while the total eclipse begins at 10:41 p.m., and ends 11:43 p.m., with the maximum eclipse at 11:12 p.m.

As mentioned, the entire eclipse will be visible from Alabama without the need for special equipment. However, a telescope or binoculars will enhance the experience.

For more information: The UNA Planetarium at 256-765-4284 orrmblake@una.edu


The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programsthrough the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business,Education and Human Sciences, and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions.Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Tuscumbia, Sheffield and Muscle Shoals. UNA Athletics, a renownedcollegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I's ASUN and Big South Conferences.The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age or national origin.