• August 24, 2016

CBU Students Gather For ?Supermoon? Lunar Eclipse

Riverside, Calif. (Sept. 28, 2015) –California Baptist University students gathered on the front lawn to witness the rare "supermoon" lunar eclipse the evening of Sept. 27. The event was hosted by the department of natural and mathematical Sciences and led by Dr. Kyle Stewart, assistant professor of physics.

"This lunar eclipse is a little more unusual than your typical lunar eclipse," Stewart said. "Right now the moon happens to be very near its closest approach to the Earth. This is called a supermoon. A supermoon lunar eclipse is only possible about once every 30 years."

The moon appears to be about 14 percent larger during a supermoon and the last supermoon lunar eclipse occurred in 1982.

The front lawn was crowded with more than 100 students relaxing and laying on blankets while watching the eclipse. The department of natural and mathematical sciences provided telescopes for attendees to look through.

"It is great. I love that they have the telescopes here. I was little worried because it was cloudy earlier but now it cleared up and now it's perfect," Ryan Penchulis (‘16) said.

The moon appeared to be full and white until around 7 p.m. when a dark red haze began to drift across its surface, as the moon began to enter the Earth's shadow. The light passing through the Earth's atmosphere projects a red haze onto the moon. By 8 p.m. the moon reached its darkest point as it was nearly entirely covered by the Earth's shadow and by 9 p.m. the moon had moved out of the Earth's shadow.

Stewart took the event as a moment to reflect and wonder at God's creation.

"Lunar eclipses are great events where we can sit back and see the orderliness of God's creation in some of these spectacular and unusual events that happen sometimes," Stewart said. "It lets us have that sense of awe and wonder for our creator."