Published: Dec. 16, 2010

The University of Colorado at Boulder's Fiske Planetarium, in partnership with the Sommers-Bausch Observatory, will host a viewing party of the total lunar eclipse on Monday, Dec. 20, starting at 10 p.m.

Fiske Planetarium will offer a free talk about the moon by education programs manager Matt Benjamin beginning at 10:30 p.m. in the planetarium's theater. Refreshments and snacks will be provided.

Following the talk, attendees are invited to walk up the hill to nearby Sommers-Bausch Observatory to view the eclipse in its entirety, weather permitting. Telescopes will be available for public observation and attendees are encouraged to dress appropriately for outdoor star viewing.

The eclipse viewing begins about 11:30 p.m. and will continue through 2 a.m. on Dec. 21. Staff from the planetarium, the observatory and related academic programs will be on hand to discuss the eclipse and answer questions. Cameras and lawn chairs are welcome.

This year's event is a rare moment of celestial timing and alignment; in North America, the next lunar eclipse coinciding with the winter solstice will not occur until 2094.

For more information call Fiske Planetarium at 303-492-5002.

(Courtesy Stuart Robbins)