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Highland Road Park Observatory


Sunday 20 January from 8:00 pm to 2:00 am


Overnight excitement at HRPO as we open to witness one of nature’s most spectacular events! While in the constellation Cancer♋, the Moon will enter the Earth♁’s shadow, turning darker and darker—and then ???. The actual color can range from dark brown to red to bright orange to yellow, depending on the current state of the Earth♁’s atmosphere. Don’t miss it. This will be the last total lunar eclipse completely visible from Baton Rouge for over three years! IMPORTANT NOTE: This event begins on Sunday evening and ends on Monday morning.

  • Penumbral Eclipse Begins: 8:36 pm CST
  • Partial Eclipse Begins: 9:33 pm CST
  • Total Eclipse Begins: 10:41 pm CST
  • Total Eclipse Ends: 11:43 pm CST
  • Partial Eclipse Ends: 12:50 am CST
  • Penumbral Eclipse Ends: 1:48 am CST

It is the partial and total eclipse which will be easily visible to the unaided eye. HRPO may close early if there is an elevated chance of rain according to NOAA. HRPO property is the only part of Highland Road Park on which the public will be allowed.


Want to be a scientist for a night? Within fifteen minutes of mid-eclipse, note the color of the Moon. Memorize what you’ve seen and compare the color to the scale below…

  • L0 = very dark eclipse: Moon almost invisible (especially at mid-totality)
  • L1 = dark eclipse: gray or brownish in coloration / details distinguishable only with difficulty
  • L2 = deep red or rust-colored eclipse: very dark central shadow, while outer edge of umbra is relatively bright
  • L3 = brick-red eclipse: umbral shadow usually has a bright or yellow rim
  • L4 = very bright copper-red or orange eclipse: umbral shadow has a bluish, very bright rim

Make sure you form your own assessment of the totally eclipse Moon's color before discussing it with anyone else.


Over $500 in prizes will be given away at International Astronomy Day on 11 May. The tickets are $5.00 each and will be sold during this event. The purchaser must be over eighteen, but need not be present at IAD to win. All proceeds are deposits in HRPO’s BREC Foundation account.

  • No white lights are allowed. White light destroys night vision. Please keep headlights off. Please outfit your white flashlights with red construction paper, a red stretch balloon, red cellophane (several layers may be needed to make the light suitably dim) or a thin coat of red nail polish. Please do not use a camera flash upstairs in the dome or outside at the viewing pads without permission from the telescope operators.
  • Blankets and lawn chairs are only allowed in the designated viewing area on the southwest side of the main building. You and your group may not use a isolated or secluded area away from everyone else. Please check in at the front desk beforehand. Please do not lie or sit on any concrete (viewing pad or sidewalk). If the ground is moist, bring a tarp or any fabric that can get dirty.
  • If a telescope is not in operation, please do not handle it in any way. If a telescope is in operation, please wait until it’s your turn and place your eye to the eyepiece without touching the telescope.
  • No glass containers are allowed.
  • Pets and animals must remain under control and on a leash at all times.
  • Please do not curse or use profane language.
  • Litter and refuse are to be placed in proper receptacles.
  • Running is not allowed outside at night, or inside at any time.
  • Loud music is not allowed. Use headphones or earbuds; nearby people should not be able to hear it.
  • Food and drink are allowed outside, and inside on the main floor, but not in either telescope dome or on either telescope pad.
  • Alcohol and smoking are not allowed.
  • As with all nights, there is no remaining on HRPO property after the public program is concluded.

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Updated by Frederick J. Barnett on Thursday, December 27, 2018, 12:30 PM.

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