By Akasha Spino-Bybee
For The Sentinel 

Line up for the lunar eclipse on Saturday

 


There are several beauties nature has to offer, several of which take place in our night’s sky. From shooting stars, to rarely-seen comets, the list goes on. Some of the most visible of these phenomena, are eclipses. We will get to witness one of the rarest eclipses this coming weekend—and the best place to take your seat? The Goldendale Observatory.

“We’ve received a huge number of calls and emails regarding the lunar eclipse on April 4,” says Troy Carpenter, interpretive specialist of the Goldendale Observatory. “We are expecting at least 60 people to attend.”

The total lunar eclipse, part of an unusual series of eclipses called the “Tetrad,” is one in a series of four eclipses that occur every six months.

“It’s not something you see every day,” says Carpenter. “This is the second to last of the eclipses in the Tetrad. It’s a very beautiful thing to behold as the moon is blocked by earth’s shadow, it starts to take on a three dimensional shape like a ping-pong ball. It’s actually an illusion caused by the contours of the earth’s shadow,” he explains, “but it tends to make it look like an orange, three dimensional object.”

“What’s also neat is that it makes the stars ‘come out’, whereas in a full moon, it’s difficult to see stars past the brightness of the moon,” says Carpenter.

The total lunar eclipse takes place on Saturday, April 4, from 2 p.m. to 6 a.m. The Observatory will be open from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. for public viewing of this unusual occurrence. For more information, call 773-3141 or visit http://www.goldendaleobservatory. com.

 

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