Posted: 9/26/96

Texas A&M International Hosts Viewing Of Lunar Eclipse Thurs., Sept. 26



Texas A&M International University will host a Public Viewing of this week's total lunar eclipse on Thursday, September 26 beginning at 8:00 p.m. in the East Parking Lot of the University's main campus, 5201 University Boulevard.

Members of the community, young and old, who wish to get a spectacular view of the astronomical event are invited to attend.

Dr. Michael Roth, Assistant Professor of Physics at A&M International, will provide commentary during the public viewing and answer visitor questions.

A special high-powered telescope and high-quality binoculars will be set up for the public viewing so that persons in attendance may get a close up view of the eclipse and other astronomical objects which are visible at this time of the year, including the planets Jupiter and Saturn.

The high tech equipment which will be used is the same equipment used in the University's astronomy courses. Persons who attend the viewing should expect a spectacular sight if the weather is not cloudy, said Roth.

"As the eclipse begins, the moon will start to appear dusky. As the Moon's illumination by the Sun is further interrupted and the Moon becomes darkened by entering in the Earth's shadow, it will appear coppery or bloody," he explained.

The entire eclipse should last about 3 hours, with the Moon in total shadow for over 1 hour, he added.

Roth noted that the lunar eclipse is an excellent learning opportunity for children and encourages parents to bring youngsters to the public viewing.

"Children will be fascinated by looking through the telescope and seeing the moon up close. It is a wonderful opportunity and we hope many in the community will attend the viewing," said Roth.

For more information on the Public Viewing of the total lunar eclipse Sept. 26, contact Dr. Roth at 326-2588 or the University's Department of Natural Science at 326-2445.

Office hours are 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday.