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Clouds ‘ruin’ the total lunar eclipse for sky gazers at the Bradstreet observatory

Members of the Eastern community, residents of North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Antarctica were all greeted with a total eclipse of the moon.

The eclipse began at 9:14 p.m. on October 27 and lasted until approximately 11:55 p.m.

The first hour of the eclipse was videotaped by the Bradstreet Observatory. Then the clouds began to gather, making viewing difficult.

“I was pissed when the clouds came,” sophomore Matthew Willits said. “They ruined the eclipse for me.”

Other students throughout the night echoed his sentiment and were disappointed with the lack of visibility.

At most, a total eclipse of the moon can be seen twice a year.

The full moon passes through part of the earth’s shadow, causing a total eclipse for one hour and 21 minutes.

The shadow is composed of two parts.

The outer shadow, also known as the penumbra, is where the earth blocks out some of the sun. The umbra is where the earth blocks out all of the sun’s rays.

Although a total eclipse of the moon is hardly one of the most rare celestial events that occurs, it does provide a cool sense of wonder as well as a biblical connection to the world.

“When the Bible talks about the moon turning to blood, it is referring to a lunar eclipse,” said Dr. David Bradstreet, professor of astronomy.

This eclipse was the final one of the year, and there seemed to be quite a bit of interest in it.

According to Bradstreet, at least 100 people showed up at the observatory throughout the night to see the eclipse.

While most were from the school, he said, there were a few outsiders who popped in as well.

Many of those who came were perhaps treated to their first visit into the observatory.

“I’ve been to the observatory four times, and I thought it was really cool,” junior Matthew Tapscott said. “More people should check it out.”

The Bradstreet Observatory, built in 1996, is the best and finest in the Delaware valley, according to Bradstreet.

Both City College of New Jersey and Widener University recently had observatories modeled after Eastern’s.

“I think our observatory is something that the students here can really be proud of,” Bradstreet said.

“We can look at ourselves and say we have the best observatory in the area. That’s something other schools here can’t say,” he said.

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