Look at lunar eclipse tonight

Local folks who want to get a good look at tonight's total eclipse of the moon have two ways to do it at Columbus State University's Coca-Cola Space Science Center.

They can drive down to the Front Avenue science centerto peek through one of the telescopes that will be setup on the south lawn, or they can go online towww.ccssc.org, where they'll find links to a livewebcast of the eclipse from the center's observatory.The link is to go live about 8 p.m.

Those who prefer a more personal encounter are invitedto use the telescopes set up outside the sciencecenter. "We're going to start observing about 8:30,"Executive Director Shawn Cruzen said. "The eclipse itself doesn't begin untilabout 8:45."

That's the partial eclipse, when the Earth's shadowfirst starts to block the sun's light on the lunarsurface. The total eclipse starts about 10 p.m. andlasts until 10:51 p.m. Then the partial eclipse of themoon leaving the Earth's shadow lasts until 12:09 a.m.

The sun's light shining through the Earth's atmospheremakes the moon look orange during the eclipse. Thiswill be the last total lunar eclipse until 2010.

The eclipse isn't all online viewers can see on thescience center observatory's webcast, Cruzen said.

"One of the things that we're streaming is a dome-cam,which is a little web-cam that's inside the dome, thatshows the telescope," he said. "So people will be ableto see us frantically running around trying to blowthe clouds away, if they're entertained by that kindof nonsense."