Skip to main content

Supermoon: Rare lunar event is focus of lecture and 'star party' at Penn State Mont Alto

MONT ALTO >> A rare event is taking place in the sky this weekend, and the community is invited to Penn State's Mont Alto campus to observe it and learn more.

The Sept. 27 lunar eclipse will be special "because it will produce a 'super' 'blood' moon," said Kimberly Herrmann, Penn State Mont Alto assistant professor of physics and astronomy, in a press release about the event.

"Supermoons occur when the moon reaches its full phase at or near the satellite's closest approach to earth, and appears abnormally large and bright. The last supermoon eclipse happened in 1982 and the next one won't take place until 2033," Herrmann said.

Anyone curious about the moon, its phases, and eclipses is invited to join Herrmann for her talk about "The Moon: Darkness and Light," on Sept. 27 in the General Studies Auditorium on the university campus.

The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the talk begins at 7.

Weather permitting, a pre-lunar eclipse star party will follow Herrmann's program in the field behind the Multipurpose Activities Center from 8 to 9:30 p.m.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Telescope viewing and night sky tours with green laser pointers will be part of the star party activities. Multiple telescopes will be available, courtesy of the TriState Astronomers (, a local amateur astronomy club.

"The noticeable part of the total lunar eclipse will begin at 9:07 p.m. and will not end until 12:27 a.m. on Sept. 28," said Herrmann, "So visitors will want to watch most of the event from their homes."

More information about the lunar eclipse is available at For more information about the event, contact Debra Collins at 717-749-6112 or email