Saturday, September 26, 2015

Special Park Hours For Sunday's Lunar Eclipse

Photo courtesy of Sky & Telescope
If you're a skygazer and want have a clear view of the sky Sunday night for the blood moon/super moon/lunar eclipse, some good news.  The Illinois Science Council has arranged for Montrose Beach to be kept open a little late so people can watch the event with an unobstructed view and without too much light pollution.  Montrose Beach (and Rainbow Beach on the South Side) will be kept open until 11:30 to accommodate amateur astronomers.

ISC says, "Chicago’s position west of the lake is fortunate because on this occasion the moon will appear in the lower east and southeast sky that evening. The eclipse will last for 3 hours and 20 minutes from beginning to end (partial eclipse begins at 8:07pm and ends at 11:27pm). The moon will be totally eclipsed for about 1 hour 12 minutes with the maximum eclipse at 9:47pm. Ideal viewing for Chicagoans is at the lakefront or high enough over trees and buildings to have a view of the eastern horizon."

Read more about it here.

A word of warning: In past years, the police haven't gotten the message about the special hours and have emptied the park at 11pm, as usual. Even if this happens, at least you'll be able to see most of the eclipse.

And it shouldn't have to be said, but some people need to hear it:  "No swimming or entry into the water is allowed at the beaches during this event."

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