Science and Mathematics Education Institute sponsors annual Space Week

Space Week 2014 at Fort Hays State University will open with a rocket launch, and this year the universe will throw in a total lunar eclipse.

The rocket launch is from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct.4, at the Ellis County Fairgrounds. The public is welcome to bring personal rockets or watch the one that the Science and Mathematics Education Institute will launch.

The lunar eclipse will start at about 4:14 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8.

"As the moon continues to move further into the shadow of the Earth it will begin to become dark and can possibly take on a blood-red color from the light that filters through the edge of the Earth's atmosphere to light up the Moon's surface," said Dr. Paul Adams, SMEI director and interim dean of the College of Education and Technology.

The moon will be totally eclipsed at around 5:25 a.m., and the event will end around 7:34 a.m., said Adams.

"The best way to view a lunar eclipse is to take a lawn chair or blanket, dress warmly, and sit back and enjoy. It is safe to look at a lunar eclipse without eye protection," he said.

Other Space Week events include:

-- Live NASA TV from11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7 in the Memorial Union Cody Commons.

-- An opportunity to look at Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and the moon. The FHSU Astronomy Club will have an observation from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, on the Tomanek Hall observation deck.

-- Science Café with John Ross presenting "NACA & NASA: The Early Years" at Gella's Dinner starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, at 117 E. 11. He will discuss the original planes and roots of NASA.

All events are open to the public.

Also occurring this month is a partial solar eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23, from 4:34 to 5:44 p.m. The FHSU Astronomy Club will host a viewing for the public using sun-safe observing practices. Solar eclipses are not safe to look at without proper sun safe practices, said Adams.

World Space Week was declared by the United Nations in 1999. FHSU's observation of the week is one of more than 1,400 worldwide.

For more information, contact Adams at 785- 628-4538.

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