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Total lunar eclipse to occur October 27

October 4, 2004

SPRINGFIELD - A total lunar eclipse will be visible in the area, weather permitting, on Wednesday evening, October 27.

A total lunar eclipse will take place on the evening of October 27.

Moonrise in the Springfield area will be at 6 p.m. (CDT) that evening. At 8:14 p.m., when the moon is high above the eastern horizon, it will begin making contact with the umbra (dark part) of the earth’s shadow, becoming totally immersed at 9:23 p.m. Totality will last one hour and 22 minutes – until 10:45 p.m. The moon will leave the earth’s shadow completely at 11:53 p.m.

Charles Schweighauser, professor of astronomy and physics at the University of Illinois at Springfield, explained that a total lunar eclipse can occur only when the moon is full – when it is on the opposite side of the sky from the sun.

“But the moon will never be completely dark,” said Schweighauser, “because sunlight is bent through the earth’s atmosphere onto the lunar surface. The color of the moon in shadow will range from a coppery color to dark red, depending on the amount of dust and water vapor in the earth’s atmosphere,” he explained.

While the UIS observatory will not be open for the event, Schweighauser said that if the weather is clear the eclipse can be viewed from anywhere using binoculars or a telescope, as well as with the unaided eye.

 

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 40 degree programs – 20 bachelor’s, 19 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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