Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bishop Museum Hosts Lunar Eclipse Viewing

An exciting evening of moon gazing is coming up.  You can view it with your own telescope or head over to Bishop Museum and enjoy it others.  Should be great!

For the first time in three years, there will be a total eclipse of the moon on Monday, December 20, 2010 from 9:42 p.m. to 10:52 p.m. Hawai‘i Standard Time.   The moon will be within the Earth’s inner shadow, which will block most of the sun’s light from hitting it.  The moon will be noticeably darker the normal, and will turn a reddish copper color. 

The J. Watumull Planetarium at Bishop Museum, in partnership with the Hawaiian Astronomical Society, will host a free eclipse viewing party on the great lawn of the museum from 8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on December 20th.  Volunteers from the Hawaiian Astronomical Society will be on hand with their large telescopes to help people observe the moon in its large, reddish detail.

The viewing event is FREE but interested participants should RSVP at 848-4176.

Other highlights of the evening include:

  • The large telescope in the Museum’s observatory will be open for moon watching.
  • Planetarium programs on eclipses.  Show times 8:15 p.m., 9:15 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
  • NOAA’s Science on a Sphere, the glowing six-foot globe in the planetarium lobby, will be used to project images of the moon, sun and planets.

“This is the most striking astronomy event over Hawai‘i since the 2007 lunar eclipse,” said Mike Shanahan, the Museum’s Director of Education, Exhibits and Planetarium.  “The planetarium turns 50 next year and over the decades it has been a go-to site for astronomy in these islands.  Thanks to the support of the Museum and of the Hawaiian Astronomical Society, we’ll keep this tradition alive with this viewing party.”
More information about this eclipse is available at the Bishop Museum planetarium homepage:

Please note only the observatory and planetarium will be open that evening.  All Museum galleries will be closed.  For information about Bishop Museum, please visit or call 847-3511.