You can catch the rare eclipse again in 2033.
By Wally Perez
At least 100 people brought lawn chairs and blankets to Lot 21 to stare at the sky Sunday evening as they waited for a view of the lunar eclipse.
Others took advantage of telescopes provided by Scobee Planetarium while photographers used tripods to capture images of the lunar eclipse.
This was the scene at the Lunar Extravaganza Sunday at Scobee Planetarium.
The event, sponsored by the Scobee Education Center, this college’s astronomy program and the San Antonio Astronomical Association offered visitors a chance to witness the lunar eclipse through telescopes on the lawn and from the observation deck.
Unlike a normal lunar eclipse, this one included a supermoon and blood moon.
A supermoon occurs when the moon is closest to the earth as it turns into a full moon.
Because of the closeness, the moon has a coppery red color from the light that scatters off the Earth’s atmosphere, hence the name “blood moon.”
A supermoon lunar eclipse has occurred only five times in the 1900s, the last being in 1982. It won’t occur for another 18 years until Oct. 8, 2033, according to an article by NASA published Sept. 27.
The event started at 7 p.m., but visitors arrived as early as 5:45 p.m., Richard Garzes, an employee at Monarch Trophy Studio, said.
Garzes, a local artist who participated in the event, showcased his crystal art inspired by space.
Other local artists, part of the art group Death From a Brush, were doing live paintings with space themes.
An art exhibit celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month featured artwork by Alamo Colleges students influenced by the lunar eclipse and space.
The area outside dedicated to observers was packed by 7:20 p.m.
Inside, a line wrapped around the show floor for tickets to the observation deck.
By 7:50 p.m., tickets had run out for each 30-minute time slot until the end of the event at 10:30 p.m.
Children were running around outside looking through telescopes, inside observing art, and playing with the astronaut suit on display in the lobby of the education center.
Robin Collett, program development coordinator at Scobee, said she was surprised the event attracted so many visitors.
“We weren’t sure how many guests would attend, but we are thrilled to have this many people interested in the lunar eclipse,” Collett said. “It’s also a great time to showcase what we do here at Scobee.”
As the night progressed, guests settled down outside as they gazed up at the moon, waiting for its change.
Unfortunately, the vision of the moon was hazy due to an obstruction of clouds for most of the night.
Photographers looked disappointed, as the chances of getting a good photograph of the eclipse seemed to be closing.
George Hoy, an employee of USAA and photography hobbyist, had determined the chance of getting a clear picture a bust.
Hoy still enjoyed his time with fellow photographers and friends and was happy that the event drew hundreds of people.
“I could be home watching football on my couch, but I much prefer meeting up with friends and enjoying the outdoors,” Hoy said.
For more information on Scobee events, visit the Scobee Planetarium, or www.facebook.com/scobeeplanetarium.