The Farmers Branch community will have a chance to experience a rare lunar event Jan. 31.
By Morgan Hanson
A once-in-a-lifetime event, the super blue blood moon, will be visible Jan. 31. Brookhaven College students, staff and faculty will have the opportunity to withness the rare lunar eclipse in a public viewing event 5-7:30 a.m. hosted by the astronomy department and the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas.
Three astronomical phenomena will coincide for the first time since March 31, 1866 to form this rare lunar event, according to a campuswide email from Chaz Hafey, Brookhaven College astronomy and physics lab coordinator.
A super moon occurs when the moon is at or within 90 percent of its closest point to Earth during a full moon and can happen a few times a year. A blue moon occurs on average about every 2.5 years and refers to a second full moon in a calendar month. A blood moon is a term for a total lunar eclipse, which is when the moon passes into Earth’s shadow and happens about every year or two, according to the campuswide email.
Telescopes will be available on the west side of J Building.
Brookhaven’s astronomy department has a hotline set up to check if weather will interfere with the view at 972-860-4301.
The super blue blood moon will begin totality, meaning it is completely inside Earth’s shadow, at 6:51 a.m., according to the campuswide email.
Hafey said he looks forward to the super blue blood moon. “Usually I don’t get to do too much during [campus events] because I’m sort of the organizer, but I hope to get some pictures of [the super blue blood moon],” he said. Hafey organized a similar event for the total solar eclipse Aug. 21, 2017, which had hundreds of attendees.
“I just want as much time under totality as possible,” Hafey said.
“I saw the solar eclipse,” Deidre Esparza, a student, said. “It’d be cool to see the lunar eclipse too.” She said she plans to attend the upcoming event to witness totality. Alejandro Kimmel, a student, said that although he witnessed the solar eclipse, he was not sure if he would attend the lunar eclipse viewing event at Brookhaven. “I don’t know if I’ll come here, but if I wake up in time, I’ll be sure to look up and check it out,” Kimmel said.