Santa Clarita residents proved that they are just as curious about the final frontier as their ancestors as they gathered in Central Park to view the full moon and total lunar eclipse through telescopes on Sunday.
“As long as people have been able to gaze up at the night sky they’ve always been curious about space,” said Glenn Basore, board member of Local Group Astronomy Club of Santa Clarita Valley.
Sunday’s moon was referred to as the “super blood wolf moon” in reference to the supermoon, blood moon, eclipse, and full moon that in a rare occurrences coincided on the same night. A supermoon takes place when the moon is slightly closer to the Earth. During a total lunar eclipse, when the Earth’s shadow completely blocks the moon, the moon is known to take on a reddish color, hence the name “blood moon.” The eclipse also happens to coincide with a full moon, which some refer to as a “wolf moon” when it occurs in January.
“This is the only lunar eclipse that’s happening in 2019, so this makes it extra special that we are able to come out here and share our telescopes with the public,” said Vahid Talaie, astronomy club member.
Basore brought his own self-designed telescope to the park for visitors to use.
“Since we were founded in 1984, the Local Group’s events have always been free because we want to help inspire the community and especially children to pursue astronomy,” Basore said.
Dee Marshall said she prefers to watch sunsets but she was excited about the possibility to see the eclipse and full moon through a telescope.
“My uncle built an observatory in his backyard in Oregon so I loved being able to watch the night sky,” Marshall said. “I love events like this because the telescopes bring space up so close to you. When you see these objects with the naked eye they’re so far away, but with all the detail you can see through the telescope it’s almost like you could reach out and touch it.”
Kendra Moras is a frequent attendant of the Local Group’s events and set up her own telescope along with her son Lucas. She said that she has always been interested in astronomy and hopes to pass her passion onto her son, who said he wants to learn more about space.
“Events like this add an excitement and an awareness to things beyond the local community and inspire interest in science to kids and adults alike,” Moras said. “We always try to bring people out to these events and I love seeing people’s faces when they see the moon up close for the first time. It gives us all goosebumps.”