IU Kokomo Observatory Open House

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The Indiana University Kokomo Observatory has held many open houses in the past few years that have allowed visitors to observe different and special astronomical views. Some of the open houses in 2018 allowed visitors to view the crescent moon, some of the planets, and lunar eclipses.  An open house will be held this Sunday just in time to view a total lunar eclipse. This opened a great opportunity for the IU Kokomo Observatory to hold an open house for the public to see something really cool.

A lunar eclipse happens when the moon moves behind the Earth into its shadow. In order for a lunar eclipse to occur, the sun, Earth, and moon align. The Earth places in the middle of this alignment, so a moon needs to be full for a lunar eclipse to occur. A total lunar eclipse describes Earth completely blocking the sunlight from the moon.  

The lunar eclipse falls on Sunday night before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so people who have a day off on Monday can come view the lunar eclipse in the observatory without having to worry about staying out too late. This is especially beneficial to families with younger children that might have school off the next day.

On Sunday night, the observatory will open at 10 p.m. and be available to the public, and totality is expected to begin right before midnight. In a Kokomo Tribune article, Patrick Motl, an associate physics professor, stated, “The moon is quite striking and beautiful during the eclipse, and folks should enjoy the view if they have the chance.” Due to the light from the full moon, only the brightest stars in the sky will be visible before the eclipse. However, the total lunar eclipse will allow many other clusters of stars to be seen with the moon displaying an orange glow.

The observatory will be free to anyone who wants to come out on Sunday. The observatory is a part of Indiana University Kokomo and is located on 2660 S. Washington Street. Also, parking will be available for free on the college campus.    

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