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Total Lunar Eclipse Viewing Session a Success

Mike and David powering up the telescope

Mike and David powering up the telescope

Last night’s lunar eclipse generated a LOT of interest in our Centre. Yesterday (Sunday, 27 September) 215 people visited our web site and viewed 536 web pages, a record. When I checked the site this morning (28 September) at 0930 hours we had already broken that record: 268 people visiting to make 540 views so far. When I checked the site Sunday morning we had about 8600 total views for 2015. Now we are at 9700 and still climbing. Most of the views were our home page and posts about the eclipse, as well as information on our Centre. I fielded several phone calls during the day from citizens looking for information on the eclipse.

We opened the observatory at 18:30 and a crowd soon developed. Coast Cable showed up to video tape the event, tour the observatory, and interview several people. We had about 100 visitors and several members set up their telescopes. We collected $54.25 in the donations jar. When the stars came out we had people lining up to see binary stars, star clusters, nebulas and galaxies while we waited for the eclipsed moon to rise above the trees on the east side of the airfield. Once it topped the trees we turned the big scope onto the moon, which was by that time starting to come out of the penumbral phase.

The crowd finally thinned out and by 22:30 we had shut down the observatory for the evening.

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