This coming Sunday night and into the early hours of Monday morning, most of us in the Americas, Africa, Europe, and some parts of West Asia will have the opportunity to view the rare and spectacular blood moon eclipse (weather permitting, of course!). Also called a "supermoon," the blood moon has not coincided with a lunar eclipse since 1982, and will not happen again for another 18 years. This rare event has nature nerds very excited, and it seems that the celestial sighting is capturing the enthusiasm of people all over the country as evidenced by the myriad amazing blood moon eclipse events in cities across the United States.
From the straightforward, to the classy, to the whimsical, there ain't no party like a blood moon party because a blood moon party is rare.
But before we get too worked up, it's a good idea to check out what the viewing conditions will be like in your area on Sunday night, and look into the best times to view the eclipse. Local news and weather stations should be reporting viewing conditions, so make sure to verify that you won't get stuck in pouring rain if you decide to get a gander at the moon in the great outdoors. Some events are happening are outside, but others are taking place indoors where, no matter the weather, attendees will be able to see the eclipse broadcast onscreen. Here are some of the best blood moon events happening in cities around the United States.
This outdoor viewing event in Austin is being held at the Mansfield Dam and will be hosted by the Austin Astronomical Society. The event is free, and attendees can bring telescopes, binoculars, chairs or blankets, and beverages (*wink*).
The Adler Planetarium in Chicago on Sunday evening where viewers will watch a live silmulcast of the eclipse in the planetarium's theater. There will also be the option of using one of the planetarium's telescopes to take a look at the night skies before the eclipse gets going. Ticket-holders for this event who went for the "all inclusive" option will be able to get a tour of the Duane Observatory, which houses the largest telescope in the Midwest. Neat!
Hosted by The Denver Astronomical Society in the Chamberlain Observatory at Denver University will be a viewing event that is great for the science geeks out there. For only $2 a person (or $5 per family), visitors will be able to look at the eclipse through a 1894 Alvan Clark-Saegmuller 20-inch refractor telescope, according to CBS Denver. You can't beat vintage geekery.
This is one for the classical music fans. The Griffith Observatory is holding a Star Party, where telescopes will be set up for attendees. In addition, pianist Ray Ushikubo of the Los Angeles Philharmonic will play Beethoven for several hours as the moon rises and during the eclipse itself.
Well, right outside Syracuse in Marcellus, N.Y., there will be a viewing party at the Baltimore Woods Nature Center. The party is happening outside and costs only $6. The woods are beautiful, so this is a great one for outdoor enthusiasts in New York.
Several national parks are also holding great events. Shenandoah National Park in Virginia is having a viewing party, as are the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, and several other parks as well. If you live near a national park, definitely check out their website to see if they're doing anything for the "supermoon" eclipse.