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Science Center offers free viewing of lunar eclipse


February 19, 2008

In the evening on Wednesday, Feb. 20, the full moon will slowly disappear into near darkness, cloaked in the Earth's shadow, and at Carnegie Science Center's Buhl Observatory, Pittsburgh residents can experience this amazing spectacle with astronomy experts to guide them.

Starting at 8 p.m. on February 20, Carnegie Science Center is offering a free, expert-guided viewing of the only total lunar eclipse of 2008 visible in Pittsburgh. Participants will learn about notable objects in the night sky and how to use a telescope from Buhl Observatory experts before the eclipse begins around 8:40 p.m. The total eclipse, the point at which the entire moon is darkened by the Earth's shadow, begins at 10 p.m. and lasts for nearly an hour.

“A total lunar eclipse is an amazing sight,” said John Radzilowicz, Director of Carnegie Science Center's Buhl Planetarium and Observatory and University of Pittsburgh astronomy instructor. “Lunar eclipses are visible from any given location once every two to three years. This particular eclipse is exceptional in that it will be the third lunar eclipse visible in Pittsburgh in the last 12 months.

That makes it rather unusual, so the chance to see this total lunar eclipse from the Buhl Observatory, with astronomy experts as guides, makes this a great opportunity for anyone interested in astronomy or just wondering what happens during an eclipse.”

Viewing the eclipse is weather-dependent, and visitors should call 412-237-3400 on February 20 to ensure the viewing will occur. Visitors should enter Carnegie Science Center through the front doors, and will be directed to the fifth floor observatory to view the eclipse.


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