San Francisco Amateur Astronomers Club Invites Public to View Total Lunar Eclipse on April 4, 2015

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Amateur Astronomy club will host event at Ocean Beach in San Francisco to see Total Lunar Eclipse in the pre-dawn sky

The San Francisco Amateur Astronomers (SFAA), based in San Francisco, California, announces an event for the general public to watch the upcoming Total Lunar Eclipse. The viewing party commences at 4.00am Saturday April 4th, with the eclipse reaching totality at 5:00 AM. Viewing will take place at Ocean Beach in San Francisco, where SFAA members will provide telescopes for viewing the spectacle.

The public viewing takes place next to the parking area at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach on the Great Highway. The club members will set up telescopes along the walkway next to the Ocean Beach parking lot adjacent to walkway 17, opposite the Beach Chalet Restaurant. Starting at 4:00 am, totality is reached from 4:58 until 5:03 am, and the eclipse concludes at 6:00 am. The event is free-of-charge and is appropriate for all ages.

The April 4th Total Lunar Eclipse is the third in a series of four total lunar eclipses in 2014 and 2015, an uncommon occurrence. Typically the Moon passes through the Earth’s shadow during a lunar eclipse for 1 to 2 hours, but on April 4th the Moon will be fully eclipsed for a mere 5 minutes, a condition that should lead to a unique view of the Moon with different shades due to the varying shadow cast from the Earth.

“The general public has a fascination with celestial events such as eclipses, and the SFAA is excited to support this fascination with a fun event at the beach,” said SFAA President Douglas Smith. “We enjoy setting up telescopes to give people a chance to enjoy the cosmos up-close, and an eclipse is just the kind of show that gets people out of bed early in the morning.”

For more information about this event, visit the SFAA website at http://www.sfaa-astronomy.org. Visitors are reminded to wear warm clothing, as the early morning weather will be quite chilly. The event is subject to cancellation due to inclement weather. For up-to-the-minute updates on the event, check the website (http://www.sfaa-astronomy.org), club Facebook page, Twitter (@sfaastronomy) or call the SFAA hotline at (949) 391-3604.

About the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers

The San Francisco Amateur Astronomers (SFAA) is a San Francisco-based club for astronomy hobbyists and enthusiasts, committed to supporting and growing the field of astronomy for the general public and for its members. The SFAA hosts lectures by leading astronomers, “star parties” for the general public to view the sky through telescopes, offers educational outreach to schools and adult groups, and special events for astronomy hobbyists to learn about telescope making, borrow club telescopes, and to view the night sky in a shared environment for learning and discovery. For more information and a calendar of events sponsored by the SFAA, visit the website at http://www.sfaa-astronomy.org.

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Paul Salazar
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