Sunday evening is a stargazers dream. University of Nebraska – Omaha Astronomy and Physics Professor Dave Kriegler says a rare event will take place. He says the full moon in September is called the Harvest Moon and is closest to the autumnal equinox. It will also be a super moon meaning it will be about 30% brighter and 14% larger because it is closer to the earth. Kriegler says just after 7 pm there will be a total lunar eclipse that will last for several hours. It is also a blood moon because it will take on an orange or reddish color.
Kriegler says from 7:30 until 9 o’clock the moon will move into the earth’s shadow. The moon will remain in the earth’s shadow until about 10 pm and then slowly emerge. The moon will be completely visible again around 11:30.
Kriegler says this is the final of four total lunar eclipses in a row we’ve been able to see in a little more than a year. That is called a tetrad and Kriegler says that won’t happen again until 2032. The next total lunar eclipse visible in Nebraska will be in January of 2018.
UNO will open the Durham Science Center at 7 pm for the public to stop by to view the eclipse. Kriegler says the planetarium will be open rain or shine and if it is clear they will have telescopes and binoculars on the rooftop observatory. Several scopes will have smartphone adapters and filters so the public can take pictures of the eclipse.