Astronomy and Space

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Space Shuttle Atlantis/STS-132's launch




Space Shuttle Atlantis/STS-132:



Space Shuttle Endeavour's piggy back ride with the Boeing 747SCA at NASA Ames:



Total Lunar Eclipse last year, 2012: 



The Willis Tower in Chicago, Illinois! What a sight! WOW (1451 foot)





Tell me all you want!


Moon Eclipse

If the sky is clear, we plan on having a Lunar Eclipse Party at the observatory in Ionia on Monday evening, December 20th, through the night until early Tuesday morning. This is a great time of year to view an eclipse of the moon as it will be high in the winter sky in the constellation of Taurus and almost dead center in the asterism of the "winter hexagon". This will make for a great photo opportunity so try not to miss it! The time details below are taken from
and those for us here in the eastern US are highlighted in red. The total phase is in bold type. A reminder will follow in mid December.

During the total phase, the color of the moon can vary greatly depending on the conditions of the Earth's atmosphere. It will be interesting to see what shade of copper it will be this year with all of the volcanic dust that the light must pass through from the eruptions in Indonesia. Come on down and bring your camera!

Again, it all depends on the weather but if it cooperates, we'll have a number of buildings open with the education center heated through the night. We hope to have a live video feed of the eclipse into the classroom and chairs will be set up on the deck for those who are dressed for the cold weather. There will be coffee, hot chocolate and cookies available but feel free to bring whatever snacks you like. The kitchen has a microwave if you need it. The lounge will also be available for anyone wishing to bring a VHS tape or DVD movie to help pass the time.

Times of over North America
Event PST
(-8 UTC) MST
(-7 UTC) CST
(-6 UTC) EST
(-5 UTC)
Start penumbral (P1) 9:27 pm (*) 10:27 pm (*) 11:27 pm (*) 12:27 am
Start umbral (U1) 10:32 pm (*) 11:32 pm (*) 12:32 am 1:32 am
Start total (U2) 11:40 pm (*) 12:40 am 1:40 am 2:40 am
Greatest eclipse 12:17 am 1:17 am 2:17 am 3:17 am
End total (U3) 12:53 am 1:53 am 2:53 am 3:53 am
End umbra (U4) 2:02 am 3:02 am 4:02 am 5:02 am
End penumbral (P4) 3:06 am 4:06 am 5:06 am 6:06 am
(*) before midnight on December 20

I've attached a couple of links from youtube that explain how and why an eclipse happens. There will also be a couple of photographs shown at the ASRAS Christmas party at the planetarium on December 4th of a previous total lunar eclipse.

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Favorite Space Shuttle orbiter?

The Beauty of Nature

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