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The parking lot at Homestead National Monument of America's Heritage Center will be open for early risers to watch a lunar eclipse this Saturday, April 4, 2015. The parking lot will open at 5:00 am (CDT), with the partial eclipse starting at 5:17 am. Totality happens at 7:00 am, and the moon sets at 7:09 am. The Heritage Center sits on a high, open point and will be a perfect place to view the eclipse. While there will not be a program, there will be an employee on site with binoculars and a spotting scope. You are welcome to bring you own telescope, binoculars, and chairs.
Some fun facts: - Lunar eclipses occur when the Moon passes within Earth's shadow, also called the "umbra". As a lunar eclipse begins, the Earth's shadow first only slightly darkens the Moon. Then, the shadow appears to "cover" part of the Moon, typically turning it a dark red-brown color (the same effect that causes sunsets to appear reddish). However, the color can also be yellow, orange, or brown in color. This is because different types of dust particles and clouds in the Earth's atmosphere allow different wavelengths to reach the surface of the Moon. -While this April 4 eclipse is considered a total lunar eclipse, you would need to be in Alaska to see the total eclipse. In Nebraska we will experience a partial eclipse, with a small sliver of the Moon remaining bright.
-Total lunar eclipses are rare –only about one in three lunar eclipses are total. However, every once in a while, four total lunar eclipses happen in a row. This is called a lunar tetrad. This April eclipse is the 3rd of four eclipses in a tetrad. The next on will occur on September 27, 2015.
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).
Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
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