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Rain, soggy lawn cancel tonight's lunar eclipse viewing at Bishop Museum

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:27 a.m. HST, Dec 20, 2010


Bad weather has forced the Bishop Museum to cancel tonight's lawn viewing of the first total lunar eclipse in three years, which had generated RSVPs from some 1,700 people.

"It's too bad," said Mike Shanahan, the museum's director of education, exhibits and planetarium. "The response was so amazing. If I could have rescheduled the eclipse, I would. But the lawn is totally soaked and the forecast is not optimistic for any break in the weather."

Tonight's free viewing was to include members of the Hawaiian Astronomical Society and their telescopes.

The last total lunar eclipse occurred on Aug. 28, 2007 and 1,000 people showed up at the museum for its free lawn viewing. 

Tonight the museum will open its planetarium for people who show up, Shanahan said.


Matt Foster, a forecaster with the National Weather Service, said the rainy weather will likely obscure the moon tonight..

"We're probably not going to see a whole lot," Foster said. "We're expecting to see the clouds stay around."

The eclipse begins at 7:29 p.m. tonight and, if visible, the earth's shadow will cover the moon from 9:42 to 10:52 p.m., creating a copper or dark red color on the moon.

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