DENVER (CBS4) – There was an amazing show on display in the night sky Sunday night, as the super flower blood moon eclipse was viewable across the Denver metro area. The moment of maximum eclipse happened at exactly 10:11 p.m., but for close to 90 minutes of totality, people were able to see the whole process of the moon slowly entering the earth’s shadow.
“It’s an astronomical phenomenon that you don’t need special equipment to view, you don’t need to be in a specific place at a specific time,” said Dr. Jennifer Hoffman, a professor of astronomy at the University of Denver and the director of Chamberlin Observatory.
With a few adjustments of the observatory’s telescope, Hoffman can view planets and even constellations every day, but every so often such equipment isn’t necessary at all.
“It’s every couple of years on average,” she said. “I think our last one was only a year ago.”
Hoffman is talking about the total lunar eclipse, an astronomical phenomenon that happened Sunday night. For nearly an hour and a half, the unmistakable copper-red moon lit up the night sky
“That’s what happens when the moon is directly aligned with the sun and the earth, so it’s traveling through the shadow of the earth,” Hoffman said.
On Sunday, several hundred people joined Hoffman and the Denver Astronomical Society for an eclipse viewing party outside the observatory. While some viewed the blood moon through a telescope, many used no equipment at all.
For Kerry Meyer and her young daughter, Sierra, the event was a lesson in astronomy as much as a chance to bond.
“Sierra loves the planets and the moon, and she’s always been super into it,” Meyer said. “She’s been waiting for this for weeks. She’s been talking about it at school.”
Hoffman, on the other hand, hopes the eclipse is a reminder to look up every once in a while.
“I think this kind of thing is great for connecting us back to the night sky,” Hoffman said. “We’re so sort of separated from it, with our electric lights and all the time we spend indoors, and I think it’s really valuable for us to remember that the sky is part of our heritage, it’s part of our environment. I’d love for people to get out and see things like this.”
There will be another total lunar eclipse this year that’s viewable in Denver. It’ll happen on Nov. 8, and the maximum eclipse will occur just before 4:00 a.m.