Lunar Trifecta

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2007, file photo, the moon takes on different orange tones during a lunar eclipse seen from Mexico City. During a lunar eclipse, the moon's disk can take on a colorful appearance from bright orange to blood red to dark brown and, rarely, very dark gray. On Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, a super moon, blue moon and a lunar eclipse will coincide for first time since 1982 and will not occur again until 2037. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

Standard-Examiner staff

The moon goes into the Earth’s shadow this weekend, and in honor of that event a couple of watch parties are planned.

A total eclipse of the moon will take place on the night of Sunday, Jan. 20. According to a news release from the Utah Astronomy Club, Sunday’s total eclipse will be the only one visible — weather permitting, of course — in this area until May 26, 2021.

In conjunction with the astronomical occurrence, a “Zoom the Moon: Total Lunar Eclipse Viewing” event begins at 8 p.m. Sunday at Antelope Island State Park, 4528 W. 1700 South, Syracuse. Hosted by park staff and Dark Sky Layton, it will begin with a presentation in the visitor center, then move outside to witness the eclipse through telescopes and binoculars. The eclipse will also be projected on a screen inside the visitor center.

Hot chocolate and doughnuts will be provided, while they last. The entrance gates to the state park will remain open until 9 p.m. that evening, and regular park fees apply.

For more information, call 801-773-2941.

Also on Sunday evening, the University of Utah Department of Physics and Astronomy will host a viewing session from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. atop the South Physics Building, 115 S. 1400 East, Salt Lake City.

Telescopes and astronomy experts will be on hand for the event.

Organizers say the number of people allowed on the rooftop is limited, so ground stations will also be set up to view the eclipse.

For more information on the U of U viewing session, visit observatory.astro.utah.edu.

According to a news release from NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador to Utah Patrick Wiggins, the Moon will begin to move into Earth’s shadow at about 8:34 p.m. Sunday, when it’s about a third of the way up the eastern sky. Totality will begin at 9:41 p.m., and the Moon will remain entirely in the Earth’s shadow until 10:43 p.m. It leaves that shadow at 11:50 p.m.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!