Public invited to view 'super moon' eclipse at Penn State Behrend

Open House Night in Astronomy to be held Sept. 27

A rare "harvest moon" eclipse will occur Sept. 27. Astronomers at Penn State Behrend's Mehalso Observatory will offer free public viewings of the eclipse beginning at 10 p.m. Credit: CanStock PhotoAll Rights Reserved.

ERIE, Pa. -- Every autumn, the full moon takes on an orange color due to its closeness to the horizon. But this year’s “harvest moon” will be even more special.

During the late evening hours on Sunday, Sept. 27, the moon will pass through the center of the Earth’s shadow, yielding a rare total lunar eclipse. This will be the last opportunity to see a total eclipse of a super moon until 2033.

Penn State Behrend will mark the occasion with telescopic observing of the eclipsed moon from the Mehalso Observatory, located behind the Otto Behrend Science Building. A brief video describing the eclipse will be played on repeat between 8 and 9:30 p.m. at the Yahn Planetarium. Observing will begin soon after that, and will continue into the night.

This special Open House Night in Astronomy is free and open to the public.

The eclipse will begin around 10 p.m. and is expected to reach its maximum point at approximately 10:47 p.m.

“The moon may take on a reddish tint near maximum eclipse because the sunlight reaching the moon is filtered as it passes through the Earth’s atmosphere,” said open house facilitator Darren Williams, professor of physics and astronomy.

Observing at the campus will end after 11 p.m., though the eclipse will last until 1:22 a.m.

Open House Nights in Astronomy are an outreach program of the School of Science at Penn State Behrend. These nontechnical presentations are intended for ages 8 and up; for additional information, contact the school at 814-898-6105.

Last Updated September 16, 2015