Allegheny Observatory Hosts Tour and Observation of a Total Lunar Eclipse


On the night of January 20/21, 2019, Allegheny Observatory hosted approximately 50 students for a tour and observations of a total lunar eclipse, a rare event when the full Moon passes through the Earth’s shadow. For this event the Moon was very close to Earth (called a super moon). The next good viewing from Pittsburgh for a total lunar eclipse won’t happen until May 16, 2022. During the total part of the eclipse the Moon appears red (called a blood moon) due to scattering and refraction effects in the Earth’s atmosphere. The trip was organized by the University’s Office of First Year Experience within Student Affairs. The students braved the bitter cold (reaching 8o F) and a brief snow storm happened before mid-eclipse! The image shown is a composite of one image taken during totality, and several images taken during the partial phases of the eclipse before and after totality. The images were taken with the Allegheny Observatory Astrograph telescope using a full frame Nikon D810a DSLR camera. Present at Allegheny Observatory to host the event and take images with the Astrograph were: Raj Bandyopadhyay  (undergraduate Physics and Astronomy major), Lou Coban (Allegheny Observatory Manager), Edward Potosky (Allegheny Observatory Tour Guide and Presenter), and David Turnshek (Allegheny Observatory Director); Sandhya Rao (Research Professor of Physics and Astronomy) edited the individual images into the composite image.  

Date :
Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - 11:00