Western New York sky gazers anticipating Sunday night’s lunar eclipse may want to cross their fingers.
Though the day will be sunny, a new weather system moving over the region from the south promises to bring clouds and the possibility of rain – just as the eclipse gets underway, according to Jim Mitchell, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo.
Whether we’ll be able to see it depends on how fast the system arrives, added Mitchell, who speculated that we may get a “hazy” glimpse of the eclipse during the early onset of cloud cover.
But. for the optimists, bring binoculars, telescopes, chairs and blankets to watch the eclipse Sunday at Penn Dixie or Woodlawn Beach State Park.
Penn Dixie telescopes will focus on the eclipse as the earth moves between the sun and the moon, as well as Saturn and various constellations, starting at 7 p.m. at the former quarry, 4050 North St., Hamburg.
The Buffalo Astronomical Association and State Assemblyman Sean Ryan will host a stargazing night at 7:30 p.m. at Woodlawn Beach.
The partial eclipse begins at 9:07 p.m., with the total eclipse at 10:11 p.m. The moon will be at its closest point to Earth that night, making it appear larger.
The public is welcome and can bring n telescopes to both venues, and astronomers will have some telescopes available to view the skies. The cost is $4 per person at Penn Dixie, and parking is free. Refreshments will be available at Woodlawn Beach.
The lunar eclipse will take place as follows, according to Penn Dixie:
• Penumbra, or shadow, first seen at 8:40 p.m.
• Partial eclipse begins at 9:07 p.m.
• Total eclipse begins at 10:11 p.m.
• Mid-eclipse at 10:48 p.m.
• Total eclipse ends at 11:23 p.m.
• Partial eclipse ends at 12:27 a.m.
• Penumbra last seen at 12:55 a.m.