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See the Eclipse at the Asistencia

Join the San Bernardino Valley Amateur Astronomers at the Asistencia in Redlands to witness a total lunar eclipse on Wednesday evening between 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. The event is free.

“This is an incredible alignment of worlds,” said Chris Clarke, outreach coordinator for the Amateur Astronomers. “You never know what to expect, because each eclipse has the potential for being highly individualized. They’re colorful, interesting, and a must-see event.”

The full moon will be rising at sunset, about 6:00 p.m. and will start to move into the darkest part of the earth’s shadow by 6:14, during evening twilight. This is the beginning of the partial phases, when the moon appears to have a noticeable “bite” on its leading or left side. As the moon drifts deeper into the shadow, the bright crescent grows thinner and thinner, until by 7:23 p.m. the moon is completely inside the earth’s shadow.

Depending upon the clarity of the atmosphere, the moon could appear coppery-orange, blood red, dull gray, or even disappear entirely from view during various phases of the eclipse. And during the partial phases of the sequence, the moon usually has a very three-dimensional appearance because of strong highlights and shadings.

Totality ends at 8:45 p.m. as the moon exits the shadow and the crescent-like appearance reverses itself until it is full again by 9:45 p.m.

The colorful eclipse will be easily visible to the naked eye, but the Amateur Astronomers will set up telescopes at the Asistencia to share closer looks at the total eclipse. Low-powered binoculars will also provide excellent views.

The Asistencia, a recreated outpost of the Mission San Gabriel, is a California Registered Historical Landmark and a branch of the San Bernardino County Museum. It is located at 26930 Barton Road in Redlands. Lunar viewing is sponsored by the museum’s education division and the San Bernardino Valley Astronomers. For more information and directions, call the Asistencia at (909) 793-5402 or visit


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