Paper Plate Education
"Serving the Universe on a Paper
Total Lunar Eclipse: May 15, 2003
Students, parents, and faculty are invited to gather at the
fields of Prairie Vista to witness the total lunar eclipse on May 15th,
beginning shortly after 9:00 p.m. EST.
Bring a lawn chair,
blanket, insect repellant, and a leisurely attitude as we watch the heavens in
motion. At Prairie Vista we will have a few modest telescopes available to view the
moon. Jupiter and Saturn will also be well positioned in the western
sky, as indicated by the temporary star charts below. A
few simple activities will illustrate why eclipses occur.
In the event of poor weather (and tiring children), we will likely abandon the
Prairie Vista site early. This is strictly an outdoor event with
no access to the school (including restrooms).
News added the day of the eclipse, May 15th:
[8:10 p.m. note: Chuck Bueter will be at the
school this evening after 8:40 p.m.]
For more background on lunar eclipses in general,
All of the lights will be turned off on the
school grounds. Please approach the parking areas slowly and
A sheriff’s deputy in a marked patrol car will be on
site, and at times we may shine the patrol car’s spotlight across a
field when we demonstrate the cause of eclipses.
We will likely set up in the playground next to the
tennis courts, but the site selection depends on local lighting this
evening. Thank you in advance to the neighbors who minimize
outdoor lighting from 8:00 p.m. until midnight tonight.
For additional information through PHM, visit the PHM
Planetarium & Space Museum for its May 15th program "The Civil
War" at 6:30 p.m. EST. After the 6:30 p.m. public program tonight, the
planetarium will feature a small presentation on the eclipse at 8:30
p.m., followed by an observing session outside. Admission is free. The planetarium
is inside Bittersweet School, just north of Penn High School.
This morning's weather forecast calls for mostly
cloudy skies, which is an improvement.
Wear reflectors if you’ve got them.
June 8, 2004, is a transit of Venus, a celestial spectacle so
rare that no human now alive has seen one. Details and links are
Mark your calendar.
Image courtesy of Fred Espenak, NASA/GSFC (sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse).
* Event occurs on morning of May 16, 2003
CDT and EST
|Partial Eclipse Begins:
||10:03 p.m. ||9:03 p.m. |
|Total Eclipse Begins:
||11:14 p.m. ||10:14 p.m. |
||11:40 p.m. ||10:40 p.m. |
|Total Eclipse Ends:
||12:07*a.m. ||11:07 p.m. |
|Partial Eclipse Ends:
|| 01:18*a.m. ||12:18*a.m.
(For insight into that elusive Hoosier Time (HT) see http://webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/f.html.
Indiana is listed under "Changes and irregularities.")
See Fred Espenak's site for all eclipse details at http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/extra/TLE2003May15.html.
Fred Espenak's guide to photographing the eclipse.
15, 2003, at 9:00 p.m.
As we await the moon's entrance into the earth's dark shadow, the planets
Jupiter and Saturn stand out in the western sky.
15, 2003, at 9:00 p.m.
Minutes before the visual part of the lunar eclipse begins, the moon is 11
degrees (about a fist at arm's length) above the horizon to the southeast.
Here are some moon-related activities to try at home or in
school prior to the eclipse.
Lunar Eclipse activity differentiates
between the fainter outer shadow (penumbra) and the darker inner shadow
(umbra). The human eye can usually only discern the darker
||Make and bring a plateful of tasty reminders of the changing
lunar shape with Oreo Moon Phases.
||Make and bring a Satellite
Tracking Bowl with the predicted satellite passes for May 15th.
||Create models of the Lunar
Surface using clay.
||Make a Moon Finder
to track the moon for any date or time, given any phase.
Moon, then discover at Bad
Moons Rising why hidden nuggets within Clement Hurd's
illustrations make it such a great book.
For Girl Scout Brownies in the audience, see also the Try-It
on page 97 entitled "What's an Eclipse?"
Please note: Parents and legal guardians are responsible for
the care and well-being of their children. Realize it will be late and
dark. Some of the street lights will be extinguished that evening, so use
extra caution in the parking lots and driveways. No alcoholic
beverages are permitted on school grounds. If you bring any snacks or
beverages, please be sure to pick up your garbage and dispose of it at home.
Any questions, comments, concerns, assistance, or input can be
sent to Chuck Bueter at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Don Darnell at email@example.com.
hope the weather holds out and you are able to join us for this casual family
Please drive carefully.
Stay in the dark!