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Total Lunar Eclipse: October 27, 2004

Witness a total lunar eclipse occurring the evening of Wednesday,  October 27, 2004.   Observers in Mishawaka, IN, can visit the PHM Planetarium and Air/Space Museum for a planetarium program about the moon and to observe the eclipse with telescopes.  The moon rises at 5:36 p.m. EST; the visible part of the eclipse gets underway at 8:14 p.m. EST.  While you are waiting for the eclipse to begin, try some lunar activities (below).

(Diagram adapted with permission from Fred Espenak's handiwork, below.)


Try these moon-related activities at home or in school prior to the eclipse.

 The 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 umbra.  
Oreo-complete_plate.jpg (23364 bytes)  Make and share a plateful of tasty reminders of the changing lunar shape with Oreo Moon Phases.
Satellite_bowl_upR.jpg (12587 bytes) Make a Satellite Tracking Bowl to predict satellite passes October 27th, the night of the eclipse.
Clay lunar landscapes.jpg (411986 bytes) Create models of the Lunar Surface using clay.  
Moon_Finder_2R.jpg (12281 bytes) Make a Moon Finder to track the moon for any date or time, given any phase.  
Read Goodnight Moon, then discover at Bad Moons Rising why hidden nuggets within Clement Hurd's  illustrations make it such a great book. 


  • For additional information through  Penn Harris Madison Schools, visit the PHM Planetarium & Air/ Space Museum, located inside Bittersweet School, just north of Penn High School.  The October 27th schedule is listed as:

    Lunar Eclipse + Telescope Obs       Wednesday        October 27          7:00 pm

    • The full Moon will enter into totality at 9:23 p.m. local time (EST) and will end at 10:44 p.m.  We’ll begin with a planetarium presentation at 7:00pm.  This show will cover all aspects of eclipses, as well as several demonstrations. Following the show, weather permitting we’ll view the eclipse with two different telescopes.

  • For eclipse details see Fred Espenak's site at http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/OH/image1/Fig04-TLE2004Oct28.GIF.

  • For lunar eclipses in general, see http://www.space.com/fullmoonfever/.

  • Kids, wear reflectors.   

  • For Girl Scout Brownies in the audience, see also the Try-It on page 97 entitled "What's an Eclipse?"

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Note: The October 27th eclipse, listed below in Eastern Standard Time (EST) is shown at right  as happening October 28 in Universal Time (UT).  For EST, subtract 5 hours from UT, which may put you in the previous day.  (For example, 01:14 UT on October 28 is the same as 8:14 p.m. EST on October 27.)  


Moonrise at  5:36 p.m. 

(Penumbral begins 7:05 p.m. )

Partial lunar eclipse begins 8:14 p.m. 

Total lunar eclipse begins 9:23 p.m. 

Greatest eclipse 10:04 p.m. 

Total lunar eclipse ends 10:44 p.m. 

Partial lunar eclipse ends 11:53 p.m. 

(Penumbral ends 1:02 a.m.)



Parts of Indiana observe Eastern Standard Time (EST) year-round.   For insight into that elusive  Hoosier Time (tongue-in-cheek called HT) see http://webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/f.html.  Indiana is listed under "Changes and irregularities."


Image courtesy of Fred Espenak, NASA/GSFC (sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse).  



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