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FMU Observatory to offer view of Lunar Eclipse, Feb. 20

     FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University observatory will hold a public viewing session Wednesday, Feb. 20, that will offer visitors a chance to see a total lunar eclipse.

    The observatory will be open from 7 until 10 p.m., and the session is open to the public free of charge.

    The lunar eclipse will begin at 8:43 p.m. and reach totality at 10 p.m. The eclipse will continue through 12:09 a.m. This is the third total lunar eclipse in less than one year. Several partials are upcoming, but the next total eclipse of the moon won't take place again until Dec. 20–21, 2010.

    The loosely structured FMU viewing programs allow visitors to come and go as they please.  If weather conditions block viewing, 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 should 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

#132 / 2-5-08
Last Published: February 6, 2008 10:10 AM
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