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Experiencing the Lunar Eclipse with the Amateur Astronomers Association at Lincoln Center Plaza
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Experiencing the Lunar Eclipse with the Amateur Astronomers Association at Lincoln Center Plaza

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Experiencing the Total Lunar Eclipse 2015
(9/27/15 Eclipse Web Page)

With the
Amateur Astronomers Association, Inc.
www.aaa.org

At
Lincoln Center Plaza
www.lincolncenter.org

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
September 27, 2015


Tonight’s weather was unpredictable, and I was not sure I’d see any of the historical and total lunar eclipse. The focus of the evening, a full moon, was called a “supermoon”, because it appeared larger than normal, due to the fact that it was a new moon in the closest possible proximity to the earth. When I arrived at Lincoln Center Plaza, at the invitation of a club, called Amateur Astronomers Association, the moon was about to pass within the earth’s shadow, creating a partial, then full, vision of darkness on the milky white moon. Once the moon becomes fully “covered” in the earth’s shadow, it would turn a reddish-copper color, due to Rayleigh scattering, an effect similar to the creation of sunsets.

At the Plaza a small crowd of local residents, passing by, joined the half-dozen or so very knowledgeable astronomers, who had mounted a variety of telescopes, in differing shapes, sizes, and professional clarity. These astronomers were kind enough to invite those who arrived early to more or less “hang out” with them and observe the moon’s shifting surface as the moon glided from left to right views, hiding behind a high-rise, then soon reappearing. We had arrived about 9:30 PM this Sunday night, and the total eclipse would end about 12:30 AM, Monday. As the crowd on the Plaza thickened, I met numerous friends connected with the New York ballet community, by coincidence, and even had caught a glimpse of Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium, who’s friendly with the members of the astronomers’ club. Also, as more people wished to look into the professional-level telescopes, lines began to form, a New York tradition, fitting against the façade of the Met Opera.

What was striking was the sight of local arts performers and arts enthusiasts, who live or work near Lincoln Center, lining up for a pure science experience, one with aesthetic elements, as well. What was most disappointing, however, was that clouds appeared and retreated, throughout the evening, with a full cloud cover preventing any view, whatsoever, of the “blood moon”, during the portion of time when the moon gave off the reddish-copper color. Yet, making the most of the moment, those of us watching the moon with bare eyes and also observing, closer-up through telescopes, the shifting dark shadow as it hid portions of the moon, left to right, were lucky to have a memorable experience. In fact, Marcelo Cabrera, President of the Amateur Astronomers Association, as well as Peter, Howard, and others, all enthusiastic members of the club, lectured small groups in the shifting crowd, fielding questions and inviting visitors to join them in future stargazing get-togethers.

Marcelo Cabrera sent the following informative text from the astronomers’ club website:

The Amateur Astronomers Association of New York was organized in 1927 to promote the study of Astronomy, emphasizing its cultural and inspirational value. We sponsor lectures at the American Museum of Natural History by leading researchers, provide economical classes in astronomy to members, plan free solar observing and nighttime sky observing, and offer a school outreach program. Check out what’s in the sky this month. We also produce a monthly news journal, Eyepiece, containing many articles of interest. Be sure to take a look at some of our members’ photos and articles. All of our upcoming events are listed on the calendar. We hope you’ll come out and join us.



Howard's Bushnell Telescope
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Astronomer with His Telescope
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Eclipse Watchers and Astronomers
Gather Outside The Met Opera House
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Moments Before the Lunar Eclipse
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Marcelo Cabrera, President, AAA.org, with His Telescope
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Beginning of Moon's Rise and Eclipse
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Half Moon in Eclipse's Shadow
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Peter with His Telescope
and Eclipse Watchers Outside the Met Opera House
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Lunar Eclipse 9/27/15
Seen from Lincoln Center through Telescope
of President of American Astronomers Association
Courtesy of Luis Marcelo Cabrera



Lunar Eclipse 9/27/15
Seen from Lincoln Center through Telescope
of President of American Astronomers Association
Courtesy of Luis Marcelo Cabrera



Lunar Eclipse 9/27/15
Seen from Lincoln Center through Telescope
of President of American Astronomers Association
Courtesy of Luis Marcelo Cabrera



Lunar Eclipse 9/27/15
Seen from Lincoln Center through Telescope
of President of American Astronomers Association
Courtesy of Luis Marcelo Cabrera



Lunar Eclipse 9/27/15
Seen from Lincoln Center through Telescope
of President of American Astronomers Association
Courtesy of Luis Marcelo Cabrera


For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net