For Immediate Release
Contact: Alicia Borrego Pierce 505-264-5464
A total eclipse of the moon will be visible over all of North America, starting on the evening of Monday, April 14 and continuing into the morning of April 15. This is the first total lunar eclipse visible from New Mexico since 2011 and The Museum of Natural History and Science Planetarium is proud to host an event called “Mega Moon and Mars Night” starting on April 14 at 10 p.m. and ending at 2 a.m. on April 15.
When the moon enters the light, outer shadow of the Earth, called the Penumbra, the brightness of the moon will only dim slightly. As the moon travels into the darker part of the shadow, called the Umbra, the partial, and later, total phases of the eclipse occur. The moon will turn a dark red due to the color of the Earth’s shadow.
Coincidentally, the planet Mars will be closer to the Earth than it has been since 2008 on the same night, making this a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event. When Mars is close, it is much easier to see its features through telescopes. The planet Saturn will also be close to the moon during the eclipse.
The museum observatory and other telescopes provided by The Albuquerque Astronomical Society will be available to look at the full moon and the Red Planet. A collection of rocks from the moon that NASA collected during several Apollo missions will be on display that night only! Hawks Aloft will bring a live owl to this late-night occurrence. The planetarium will present shows that point out the main features on Mars and explain why eclipses occur. This event will be canceled if the sky is cloudy.
Admission: $8 adults, $6 seniors, students & members; $4 children; coupons for $1 off adult admission are available at nmnaturalhistory.org/starry-nights-lunar-eclipse.
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The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science preserves and interprets the distinctive natural and scientific heritage of our state through extraordinary collections, research, exhibits and programs designed to ignite a passion for lifelong learning.