You will not have to attend the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society’s Astronomy Evening to see the “The Eclipse of the Harvest Moon” on Sunday, September 27. But you will learn more about the Moon and the constellations if you come to the Crossroads Astronomy Campus ( 2200 Utah Street in Sturgeon Bay) that night. Members of DPAS and Friends of Crossroads will collaborate to offer free indoor family-friendly activities in the Stonecipher Astronomy Center at 7:30, but the Moon- related demonstrations and exhibits.will close down about 8:15 when the Moon enters into the shadow of the Earth.
The Moon goes around the Earth every month…actually every 29.5 days—which is how we humans developed the concept of “a month.” “A month–“a moonth”–is the elapsed time from one full Moon until the next. So you might suppose that the Moon would pass through the Earth’s shadow every month. Clearly, it does not.
The rarity of this phenomenon is the result of the the Moon’s orbit which is at an angle to the Earth’s orbit. It’s not much of an angle… a mere 5 degrees…but it means that most of the time, the Moon is just a little bit above or a little bit below the shadow of the Earth. Occasionally, maybe three or four times a year, the Moon passes part way or completely through the Earth’s shadow. That doesn’t mean the Moon goes totally dark. Enough sunlight gets around the Earth to illuminate the Moon, but the light at the blue end of the spectrum gets filtered out by our atmosphere. Consequently, only red light gets bent toward the Moon.
In some ways, the lunar eclipse is even more beautiful than a solar eclipse because the filtered light makes the Moon appear red. Some people call it a Blood Moon. The more pollution in the air, the redder it will be. This year, out west where smoke fills the skies, the moon ought to be dark crimson. But if it’s clear, we will have quite a show….and one that it completely safe to watch.
But the sky show will not be limited to the colorful Moon. As the moon gets dark, stars appear brighter. So members of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society will be on hand with their laser pointers, astronomical binoculars and small telescopes to help visitors explore the night sky.
The event is free and open to all ages…come early and take in the educational activities, or later ..around 9:30 to see the Moon at its darkest. The event will go on, clouds or no clouds. Sometimes, even on overcast evenings, the sky opens up.
The meadows of the Crossroads Preserve are magnificent this time of year. Join the naturalist on Saturday, at 11:00 for a casual meander through the meadows of the Crossroads preserve to enjoy natures’s final flower show of the season. Meet at the Collins Learning Center. The trip will last about an hour with easy hiking.
On Sunday afternoon, at 2:00, the Door County Historical Society will offer it’s final lecture of the season with “The Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal” featuring Captain Bob Desh.
Crossroads at Big Creek is a preserve welcoming learners of all ages to programs in science, history and the environment. The Collins Learning Center, located at 2041 Michigan, is open 2:00-4:30 daily and during scheduled events. Trails at Crossroads, Big Creek Cove, and the Ida Bay Preserve are free and open to the public.
Saturday, September 26
11:00 Meander through the Meadows
The meadows of the Crossroads Preserve are magnificent this time of year. Join the naturalist on Saturday, at 11:00 for a casual meander through Crossroads preserve to enjoy the natures’s final flower show of the season. Meet at the Collins Learning Center. The trip will last about an hour with easy hiking
Sunday, September 27
2:00 Door County Historical Society Lecture: Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal
Capt. Bob Desh will tell of the history of the Ship Canal. Collins Center .
DPAS ASTRONOMY EVENING: “The Eclipse of the Harvest Moon”
7:30-8:15 Moon-related Activities and Demonstrations
Friends of Crossroads will join with members of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society to offer family-friendly hands-on demonstrations about the moon. Find out why moon watching is better when the moon is not full, how craters were formed, what causes the phases of the moon and so on. Demonstrations in the Stonecipher Astronomy Center. Free.
8:15 on Lunar Eclipse and Stargazing
Join member of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society as they enjoy an eclipse the harvest moon. As the moon darknes to an ethereal red, stars will appear brighter and members of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society will be on hand to help participants explore the beauty of the night sky. Meet at the Stargarden of the Astronomy Campus 2022