Allegheny Observatory was the perfect place to see the lunar eclipse

Phases of eclipse

On the night of Jan. 20, 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 appeared 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 (dropping to 8 degrees) and a brief snowstorm just before mid-eclipse.

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).