It's eclipse season at Penn State Behrend

October 08, 2014

The diverse colors, the falling leaves, the autumn scents — these are just a few things that make fall a can’t-miss season at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

This year, there’s another.

“Eclipse season is back at Penn State Behrend,” said Darren Williams, professor of physics and astronomy. “The Earth, moon and sun are involved in a unique gravitational dance that occasionally moves one object through the shadow of another. Exact alignment of the three bodies is relatively rare and tends to produce eclipses viewable somewhere on Earth every six months.”

This month, a lunar eclipse (visible Oct. 8) and a solar eclipse (visible Oct. 23) will be detectable to those living in the Erie area. Williams will discuss the nature of these eclipses on Thursday, Oct. 23, in “Eclipse Season at Penn State Behrend,” the next Open House Night in Astronomy lecture at the campus. Telescopic observation of the solar eclipse from atop the parking deck of the Jack Burke Research and Economic Development Center will precede Williams’ presentation.

The observing will be held from 5:45 to 6:20 p.m. Williams’ talk will follow at 7 p.m. in Room 180 of the Burke Center. Both the observation and talk are free and open to the public. Astronomical observing from the campus’ Mehalso Observatory will follow the presentation, weather permitting.

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 older; for additional information, contact the school at 814-898-6105.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 09, 2015