FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University observatory will hold a public viewing session, Saturday, March 3, that will offer visitors a chance to see a lunar eclipse.
The observatory will be open from 6:30 p.m. until 11 p.m., and the session is open to the public free of charge.
The lunar eclipse will begin at 7 p.m. and continue through 9 p.m.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow. This will be visible from any location in the Florence area. When the moon is being eclipsed, it turns red/orange in color and as the eclipse ends, it takes on a dark gray color.
The loosely structured FMU viewing programs allow visitors to come and go as they please. If weather conditions block viewing of the lunar eclipse, this session will be canceled. The public may call 843-661-1355 for recorded information about the prospect of a clear sky to allow the event to be held.
Visitors to the observatory are urged to dress appropriately for the weather as temperatures will be much cooler in the evening hours. Flashlights may be used for walking to the observatory, but visitors will not be allowed to drive out to the observatory unless prior arrangements have been made with the observatory director, Jeannette Myers.
The FMU observatory is located beyond the outfield fence of the FMU Softball Field, south of the Smith University Center. Visitors can park in Lot D at the southern end of the campus and follow the walkway to the observatory.
Persons requiring special assistance to visit the observatory, or seeking more information, may call 843-661-1441. The observatory webpage is http://astro.fmarion.edu/observe/.
#116 / 2-21-07