UNA Pressroom

UNA Planetarium to be Open for Nov. 8 Total Lunar Eclipse

Nov. 04, 2022

Michelle R. Eubanks , UNA, at meubanks@una.edu, 256.765.4392

FLORENCE, AL – A total lunar eclipse will take place on the morning of Nov. 8 that will be visible from Florence. The University of North Alabama Planetarium will have telescopes available for people to view the eclipse from 3-6:20 a.m., weather permitting. 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 within the span of a few hours.

“There are several stages of lunar eclipses,” said Dr. Mel Blake, Planetarium Director and Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy. “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 the light from the Sun entirely blocked. The total eclipse stage occurs when the entire Moon is within the Earth’s shadow. After total eclipse, the sequence reverses itself, with a partial eclipse followed by a penumbral stage at the end.”

The penumbral stage tends to be subtle, with most observers perhaps only noticing that the Moon looks somewhat dimmer. A lunar eclipse in partial phase makes the Moon appear as though a bite has been taken out of it, and the total eclipse is often referred to as the “Blood Moon” because of the dark red appearance the Moon takes. 

“This color is caused by red light passing through the Earth’s atmosphere and hitting the Moon’s surface and reflecting back to us,” Dr. Blake said. “Lunar eclipses were often thought to be harbingers of doom, heralding the death of a ruler or a coming disaster. The full Moon in November is also called the Beaver Moon so it will be a Beaver Blood Moon.” 

The penumbral stage is set to begin on the early morning of Nov. 8 at 2:02 a.m., with partial eclipse to begin at 3:09 a.m. The total eclipse will begin at 4:16 a.m., with the maximum eclipse for Florence taking place at 4:59 a.m.

About The University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering credential, certificate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in the colleges of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering; Business and Technology; Education and Human Sciences; and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. The first-choice University for more than 10,000 on-campus and online students, UNA is on a bucolic campus in Florence, Alabama, part of the historic and vibrant Shoals region. Lions Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Conference. 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. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/