DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The high-powered telescopes at the University of North Texas Rafes Urban Astronomy Center will be open for the public at 8 p.m. on Sept. 27 (Sunday) for a watch party to view this month's rare combination of a supermoon and total lunar eclipse. Participants will be able to shoot photos of the moon close up with their smart phones and cameras. Admission to the watch party is $3 per person, cash or check only.
A lunar eclipse is the point in time when Earth passes directly between the sun and the moon, causing the moon to travel through the umbra of the Earth's shadow, which gives the moon a reddish tint. A supermoon happens when a full moon occurs at the same time as the moon's closest orbital approach to Earth, making the moon appear large in the night sky.
The Rafes Urban Astronomy Center is located at 2350 Tom Cole Road in Denton. Gates will open at 8 p.m. and the event will last until 10:30 p.m., weather permitting. In the event of inclement weather, a decision to cancel will be made by 5 p.m. on Sept. 27, and will be posted on UNT Astronomy's Facebook and Twitter pages. The @UNT_Astronomy Twitter feed can also be seen on the UNT Astronomy website.
For more information, contact UNT Planetarium and Astronomy Program Director Ron DiIulio at 940-369-8213. More information about UNT Astronomy can be found online.
About the Rafes Urban Astronomy Center
The Rafes Urban Astronomy Center opened in 2007 and features 14 telescopes within two domed observatories and three telescope huts, all surrounding the Hudson Amphitheater, a dedicated space for open-sky astronomy discussions. The observatory's Hudson Planetwalk entryway includes scale models of each of our solar system's planets with video presentations about each planet.
UNT has one of the largest enrollments in the nation for introductory astronomy classes offering multiple laboratory components – a planetarium, telescopes and observatories for advanced research. The Rafes Urban Astronomy Center accommodates more than 3,000 students and 38,000 visitors annually.