This September, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument will offer two Night Sky Programs, one of which is a specail Eclipse-Watching event for a Total Lunar Eclipse. Both offer the opportunity to explore the stars under dark-sky conditions, far from city lights.
Night Sky Program: “The Milky Way”
Saturday, September 5, 2015 – 8:00-10:00 PM.
What’s that soft, milky glow stretching across the night sky? It’s the collective light of hundreds of billions of stars in our Milky Way Galaxy, most of which are too far away to see individually with the unaided eye. But don’t take our word for it: check out the Milky Way in our telescopes and see for yourself! Join us as we explore the many star clusters and nebulae that hide amongst countless distant stars in this amazing swath of sky.
Special Eclipse-Watching Night Sky Program: “Total Eclipse of the SuperMoon!”
Sunday, September 27, 2015 – 7:00-9:30 PM.
Join us for a rare treat: watching the Full Moon turn dark and red as it enters the shadow of the Earth! We will discuss the science behind this Total Lunar Eclipse as we watch it slowly unfold. The eclipse is visible to the unaided ey, but telescopes will be on hand for a closer view. In case that’s not exciting enough, this eclipse also takes place during a “Supermoon,” as the Moon will be at its closest to Earth and appearing slightly larger than usual. This is the fourth and final event of the current tetrad of Total Lunar Eclipses (and the only one to be “super”), so don’t miss it! The next Total Lunar Eclipse is in 2018.
For both programs:
Night Sky Programs begin with a short presentation in the Visitor Center, followed by stargazing with telescopes, binoculars, and laser-guided tours of the stars and constellations. Please note that the telescope viewing is weather-dependent, and takes place only if clear. Presentations take place no matter the weather. Dress warmly; evenings at high elevation can be cool. Bring binoculars or a flashlight if you wish (red-filtered lights only please).
Admission is the regular park entrance fee, which is $5 per adult (16 years and older); children and federal pass holders are free. For additional information, please call (719) 748-3253 or visit the Monument’s website: www.nps.gov/flfo.
These programs are generously assisted by the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society. For more information on this partnership, please visit their website: www.csastro.org.