Published on October 8, 2014  

Many of you heard about the total lunar eclipse the morning of Oct. 7. Christenberry Planetarium director David Weigel built a show describing the event and had about 65 attendees for that the night before. The real excitement came in the morning as we hosted a viewing event in the observatory on the roof of Brooks Hall. When we arrived at 3 a.m. there were already 15-20 students eager to participate.

The skies were generally clear for the next couple of hours and we got to see the action up until just before totality. Then the clouds moved in and we did not see much of the moon while it was in its blood red state, fully eclipsed. So, there was a little disappointment over that but mostly everyone was glad they had come. When we lost sight of the moon, we turned our attention to Jupiter and other sights. We saw some great views of Jupiter and four of its moons.

We were at the observatory for over three hours and for most of that time there were 30-40 people there. We estimate that we had at least 60 unique visitors. Maybe 10 or so were non-Samford folks who had come because of publicity on the Facebook page and the like. A couple of students even brought sleeping bags and camped under the stars for a while. All were very excited and many of them lined up to take pictures with their phones through the telescope. ABC 33/40 was there for over two hours with a live feed.

Excitement is building and students are genuinely interested in what’s happening!

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.