“Whoa. Whoa. Oh my god that’s sooo… cool.”
As her friend told her about Wednesday night’s lunar eclipse, Communication sophomore Alexandra La Manna held her cell phone to her ear and stared into the sky toward the McCormick Tribune Center. The moon appeared as a rusty smudge with a sliver of silver edging, wedged near the shining planet Saturn and a bright star.
“It’s beautiful,” she later said. It was her first lunar eclipse.
In the parking lot by Garrett Evangelical Seminary, Weinberg senior Brian Leung pointed his camera past Shanley Hall to snap a photo of the moon as it neared the total eclipse phase — when the moon turns deep red as Earth overshadows it.
“It’s pretty fascinating actually,” he said. “It looks like the moon is covered up by a brown piece of paper.”
Students and local residents also filtered through Dearborn Observatory for a chance to view the night’s astronomical event by telescope.
The topmost, dome-like level of the observatory, which houses the telescope, is not heated and must be left partially open to the sky. Bundled up in coats, scarves and hats, visitors stood in a line that twisted around the entire room, braving temperatures lower than 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Evanston resident David Rohner waited in line on the middle floor indoors with his three children, who attend the Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette. “They’re only out at a quarter to ten because they’re on midwinter break,” he explained. “They don’t have school tomorrow.”
The Rohner children described the moon at the peak of the eclipse.
“It looks like cheese. Dark cheese,” said 12-year-old Kaleigh.
“It looks like the Death Star. There’s like a dot in the middle of it,” nine-year old Alex said.
“It sorta looks like an orange,” added eight-year-old Chris.
Vivien Raymond, an exchange student from France, works in the observatory. When asked to describe the eclipse, Raymond responded, “That’s a tough question… It’s very beautiful.”
“It’s an event that happens all over the world at exactly the same time,” he said, “so you know right now there are Europeans watching it, Africans watching it.”
Written by Lauren Ruth. Video by Emily Laermer.