group logo

Paul Morgan Observatory Opens for Full Red Moon

1:26 AM · May 12, 2022

The dark red Super Flower Full Moon will be rising in total eclipse on Sunday, May 15, and Umpqua Community College is inviting the community watch from the Paul Morgan Observatory for the first time in two years. Weather permitting, the observatory telescopes will project images of the eclipse onto a large digital screen showcasing the event in real-time for public viewing. The moon will be near its perigee, or closest point to Earth, making it seem a bit larger in the sky, a phenomenon known as a supermoon. During the eclipse, the moon will be 225,015 miles from Earth. Additionally, the May full moon is sometimes known as a flower moon in the Northern Hemisphere, a tribute to the colorful blooms that appear in early spring. The public is invited to the free Lunar Eclipse Stargaze event, weather permitting, from 8:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., Sunday, May 15, at the Paul Morgan Observatory, Umpqua Community College, in Roseburg. Dress warmly, and bring folding chairs, binoculars, and blankets. Parking is available in the lower lot near the Technology Center. The observatory is handicap accessible and designed for wheelchair viewing of the digital screen. “This is the only active digital observatory in the northwest and only one of two community colleges with an observatory," Associate Professor of Astronomy Paul Morgan said in a press release. "Everyone will be able to see the moon up close without having to stand or climb up to look through the telescopes." Eclipse totality begins at 8:29 p.m., with the moon rising in the southeast at 8:25 p.m. The moon will clear the hills in the southeast within the first 20-30 minutes, and visitors will be rewarded with a blood moon climbing slowly into view, rising from the hills south of Mount Scott, and totality will last nearly another hour until 9:54 p.m. The total eclipse concludes at 10:54 p.m. with the reappearance of the brilliant Super Flower Full Moon.