The month’s featured attraction is a total lunar eclipse viewing party that will test astronomy lovers’ ability to function on very little sleep.
Viewing at JCDO will run from 3:15 a.m. to 7 a.m. The lunar eclipse will be even more unique by the fact that the day will double as a blue moon, marking the second full moon of the month.
“The eclipse will begin with shadow onset at 3:48 a.m. and reach totality at about 4:51 a.m.,” said Thomas Herring, JCDO director and WNC physics professor. “The moon will reach the center of Earth’s shadow at 5:29 a.m. and the total eclipse will end at 6:07 am. The moon will set behind the Sierras before the shadow completely moves off the moon’s disk.”
Herring said that there will be telescope viewing available to the public, as well as video from JCDO’s 14-inch telescope on the big screen inside, weather permitting. There will also be a large pot of coffee on hand for the early morning event.
The next lunar eclipse visible in Western Nevada will be Jan. 20, 2019, according to Herring.
The Observatory is located at 2699 Van Patten Drive in Carson City.