WV DNR News Release
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Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor
Frank Jezioro, Director

News Release: April 11, 2014

Facebook: WV Commerce - State Parks

Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 957-9365 hoy.r.murphy@wv.gov

Contact:

Hawks Nest State Park 304-658-6212 HawksNestSP@wv.gov
Twin Falls State Park 304-658-6212 TwinFallsSP@wv.gov


After Midnight; lunar spectacle creates April 14 into April 15 sky watch at Hawks Nest and Twin Falls state parks

ANSTED and MULLENS, W.Va. - A total eclipse of the moon will be visible during the early hours of April 15, 2014, and visitors to Hawks Nest and Twin Falls state parks will be in a position to see it best. According to space.com, from night into early morning, sky watchers can observe a full eclipse of the moon.

"It's a total eclipse at the park," said Renee Harper at Hawks Nest State Park. "Hawks Nest is a perfect place to observe a lunar eclipse. Lodge rooms facing the New River Gorge have balconies and there is a great overlook deck as well."

Hawks Nest and Twin Falls state parks are both offering a 50 percent off (Eclipse Rate) room rate the night of April 14 with a late checkout April 15. Hawks Nest's rate includes an express breakfast. After midnight, both Hawks Nest and Twin Falls will have moon pies and a pot of coffee at the front desk for the night sky gazers.

Hawks Nest State Park is located in Ansted in Fayette County. The park's lodge, view and iconic overlook are well-known and popular with tour groups. Call 304-658-6212 or visit online www.hawksnestsp.com.

Twin Falls State Park is tucked away in Wyoming County near Mullens and Pineville. This park includes a lodge, indoor swimming pool, cabins, campground, golf and extensive hiking and biking trails. Call 304-294-4000 or visit online www.twinfallsresort.com.

Both parks actively promote outdoor activities and recreation. The eclipse of the moon in the early hours of April 15 is another opportunity to introduce park guests to the outdoors. "We're hoping for a clear night and a real spectacle," said Rita McAllister at Twin Falls. "Even if you stay at Twin Falls April 14 for a good night's sleep and a reduced rate and miss the moon show, you can still sleep in. We'll keep a moon pie out for you."

About the lunar eclipse, according to space.com

The Full Moon of April is known as the Seed Moon, Pink Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon or Fish Moon. It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise, the only night in the month when the moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky.

The April 15 total lunar eclipse is the first in a four-eclipse cycle called a tetrad.

Stargazers and lunar fans in the Western Hemisphere will have ringside seats for a total eclipse of the moon during the overnight hours of April 14 and 15.

This spectacle of celestial shadows will be the first of two total lunar eclipses in 2014 that will be visible from North America. Unlike an eclipse of the sun, an eclipse of the moon presents no hazards to the viewer. No precautions to protect the eyes are needed.

Lunar eclipses occur when Earth's shadow blocks the sun's light, which otherwise reflects off the moon. There are three types — total, partial and penumbral — with the most dramatic being a total lunar eclipse, in which Earth's shadow completely covers the moon. The April 15, 2014 total eclipse is visible from the Americas, Australia and out in the Pacific Ocean. A second total eclipse occurs Oct. 8, 2014.

What is a lunar eclipse?

A lunar eclipse can occur only at full moon. A total lunar eclipse can happen only when the sun, Earth and moon are perfectly lined up — anything less than perfection creates a partial lunar eclipse or no eclipse at all.

Because the moon's orbit around Earth lies in a slightly different plane than Earth's orbit around the sun, perfect alignment for an eclipse doesn't occur at every full moon. A total lunar eclipse develops over time, typically a couple of hours for the whole event. Here's how it works: Earth casts two shadows that fall on the moon during a lunar eclipse. The umbra is a full, dark shadow. The penumbra is a partial outer shadow. The moon passes through these shadows in stages. The initial and final stages — when the moon is in the penumbral shadow — are not so noticeable, so the best part of an eclipse is during the middle of the event, when the moon is in the umbral shadow, which Tuesday April 15, will occur at 3:42 a.m. EDT.

**DNR**

Photo Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.  Hawks Nest State Park has a large deck overlooking the New River Gorge that also will provide a perfect place to watch the April 14-15 total lunar eclipse.
Photo Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.  Hawks Nest State Park has a large deck overlooking the New River Gorge that also will provide a perfect place to watch the April 14-15 total lunar eclipse.