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Paul Morgan Observatory Reopens and Hosts Lunar Eclipse Stargaze; Free community event

Written by on May 10, 2022

ROSEBURG, Ore., — The Paul Morgan Observatory at Umpqua Community College will reopen to the public on May 15, after over 2 years of closure due to the pandemic. The dark red Super Flower Full Moon will be rising in total eclipse. Weather permitting, the observatory telescopes will project images of the eclipse onto a large digital screen showcasing the event in real-time for public viewing.

Eclipse totality begins at 8:29 p.m., with the moon rising in the southeast at 8:25 p.m. The moon will clear the hills in the southeast within the first 20-30 minutes, and visitors will be rewarded with a blood moon climbing slowly into view, rising from the hills south of Mount Scott, and totality will last nearly another hour until 9:54 p.m. The total eclipse concludes at 10:54 p.m. with the reappearance of the brilliant Super Flower Full Moon.

“This is the only active digital observatory in the northwest and only one of two community colleges with an observatory. We have three high-powered reflector telescopes: 9, 11, and 14 inches, permanently installed in the building with a rooftop that slides open to expose the night sky. Everyone will be able to see the moon up close without having to stand or climb up to look through the telescopes, as the digital technology allows the visitors to see the moon on a large digital screen,” says Paul Morgan, Associate Professor of Astronomy.

The public is invited to the free Lunar Eclipse Stargaze event, weather permitting, from 8:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., Sunday, May 15, at the Paul Morgan Observatory, Umpqua Community College, in Roseburg. Dress warmly, and bring folding chairs, binoculars, and blankets. Parking is available in the lower lot near the Technology Center. The observatory is handicap accessible and designed for wheelchair viewing of the digital screen.

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