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UW Planetarium to Host Viewing of Total Lunar Eclipse Jan. 20

January 16, 2019
moon during eclipse
This photo shows a total lunar eclipse, as seen in California at sunrise last year. (Kevin Kawai Photo)

The University of Wyoming community and the public can view a rare treat -- a total lunar eclipse -- from the rooftop of the UW Physical Sciences Building Sunday, Jan. 20. The rooftop will open at 8:30 p.m., with the viewing from 9:45-10:45 p.m. Rooftop capacity is 25 at any one time.

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the full moon moves behind and into the shadow of the Earth. Because the light from the sun passes through the Earth’s atmosphere, the moon appears red during a total lunar eclipse, leading to the name “Blood Moon.” 

“Lunar eclipses are pretty rare, but not as rare as seeing a total solar eclipse like the one we saw in August 2017,” says Samantha Ogden, coordinator of the UW Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium, which is hosting the event. “The Earth’s shadow is much larger than the moon’s shadow, which means that lunar eclipses are easier to see on the Earth than a solar eclipse. But they are still an incredible sight. We will not see another lunar eclipse in Wyoming until 2021.”

To access the roof, enter the southwest doors of the Physical Sciences Building and ascend the stairs in the southwest corner of the building. Participants are encouraged to bring coats, hats, gloves, blankets and anything else that will keep them warm, as temperatures are forecast to be in the mid-20s.

For more information, call Ogden at (307) 766-6506 or email

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