Fleischmann Planetarium to monitor full lunar eclipse with viewing event Dec. 20-21

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SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE

RENO, Nev. – Offering some of the best seats on Earth, the Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center at the University of Nevada, Reno, is set to host a special midnight eclipse-viewing event, beginning Monday, Dec. 20 at 9 p.m., to monitor the total lunar eclipse, which will be visible throughout the western United States. Full eclipse is due to occur at midnight (PST) and be complete by 3 a.m., Dec 21. (The winter solstice!)

Dan Ruby, associate director of the planetarium will be available in advance of the eclipse event to answer media questions and provide context. The viewing event will be held at the planetarium on the university campus, 1650 N. Virginia St. in Reno.

“We’re really excited about the fact Reno has the best seats on Earth for the show this year,” Ruby said. “We’re in the right place on our planet to see it from start to finish, and it’s right at the winter solstice. We won’t get another chance until 2014. The last total lunar eclipse visible from the entire continental United States occurred on February 21, 2008. North Americans will have their next opportunity to see a total lunar eclipse on April 15, 2014.”

For more information about the total lunar eclipse, visit the NASA website at http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OH2010.html#LE2010Dec21T . Additional information is available at http://www.mreclipse.com/LEdata/TLE2010Dec21/TLE2010Dec21.html .

The Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center is part of the University of Nevada, Reno, and Extended Studies, offering science-related exhibits, public star shows and large-format science films, as well as public star observing courtesy of the Astronomical Society of Nevada. The planetarium is open to the public and admission is free to its museum; individual and group tickets to planetarium shows and special events are available for purchase to nonmembers. Shows are free to Fleischmann Planetarium members.

For additional information about events and show schedules at Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center, visit http://www.planetarium.unr.edu or call (775) 784-4812. For more information about Fleischmann Planetarium membership benefits, visit http://planetarium.unr.edu/Member.html .

Built in 1964, the Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center on the University of Nevada, Reno, campus was the first planetarium in the world to project full-dome movies, and is currently one of the first of a handful of planetariums around the world to utilize the Spitz SciDome digital projector, a high-resolution, state-of-the-art immersive visualization tool. The projector is also adaptable to a number of disciplines and uses, supporting collaborations among the planetarium, other University departments and programs, and community organizations. The planetarium’s uniquely shaped building was designed by famed Reno architect Ray Hellman and is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Fleischmann Planetarium serves nearly 50,000 visitors a year, including hundreds of school field trips that introduce students, K-12, to the wonders of the universe.

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