The Most Important Astronomical Events until 2020

The Most Important Astronomical Events until 2020

Telescope and the nightsky. Credit: inverse

Celestial events regarding interplanetary system occur either sporadically or infrequently. These events may include lunar and solar eclipse, meteor shower, cyclical phases of the moon, occultation, comet flybys, and transits. The reason behind this irregularity which leads to these proceedings are the variable movements that happen in the immense cosmos. There are many such incidents that will occur in the next couple of years. Some of them are:

·         Eta Aquariids

Eta Aquariids is a meteor shower that consists of fragments left by Haley’s Comet. When the Earth moves in meteor’s course these remains interact with dust particles and burn up parting streaks of light. This shower is majorly visible in the southern hemisphere. Some of the comets may befall in the mid-northern latitudes. This occurrence will transpire on May 5, 2018. The finest time to detect this manifestation is the slight moment before dawn. However, the broad peak of Eta Aquariids may present a decent presentation at pre-dawn on May 4 and May 6.

·         Lunar Eclipse at Apogee

Lunar Eclipse occurs when the earth comes between the sun and the moon. This has not happened since 2011. The moon will be at the apogee point which refers to the point that is furthest away from the earth and the moon would be fleeting through the center of earth’s shadow. Such an eclipse is considered a rare one. This happening will befall on July 27th, 2018.

·         Leonids

Leonids symbolize to the green streak seen across the Southern sky. This meteor shower is caused when the Earth moves into the dust that was left behind Tempel-Tuttle Comet. Leonid’s most spectacular shower befell between 1999 and 2002. In 1833, more than 240,000 meteors were recorded to have been appearing over the span of nine hours. This happening will ensue on 12-18th November 2018 and it would be observable from both hemispheres.

·         Super Blue Moon

The original classification of a blue moon refers to, “the third full moon in a season with four full moons”.  When timing is accurate, a full moon coincides with the moon’s perigee (the closest point of the moon from the earth).  On this occasion, the moon is 14 percent larger than its original diameter as it is closer to the earth. The bluish tinge is a result of dust and smoke in the atmosphere scattering the red-light particles and making the moon appear blue. This manifestation will transpire on May 18, 2019.

·         Total Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse results when the moon passes between the earth and the sun in a way that the view of the sun is completely concealed for the spectator on the earth. Total Solar Eclipse is denoted to an event when the apparent size of the moon is larger than the sun’s diameter. This result in complete darkness even in the light of day. This occurrence will be visible from Chile, Argentina, and the Pitcairn Islands. This will happen on July 2nd, 2019.

·         Mercury Transition

The mercury transit takes place when the planet passes directly between sun and earth. This causes the appearance of Mercury on the solar disk. Mercury appears as a black dot against the bright yellow sun. This event lasts about five and a half hours and ensues about 13-14 times in a century. This juncture last happened in 2016 and will next occur on November 11. 2019.

·         Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

Penumbral eclipses are those that involve the darker portion of the Earth’s shadow. These nevertheless are visible to the naked eye. Penumbral is defined as the region where a constricted percentage of the light source is masked by an obstructing object. In modest form, it can also be defined as a partial eclipse. This event will be noticeable as a portion of the moon is slightly shielded. It would be visible from most of Europe, Africa, Asia, the Indian Ocean and Western Australia. This manifestation will befall on January 10th, 2020.

·         Rare Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn

The rare consultation of Jupiter and Saturn happens once after 20 years or so. The position of Jupiter transpires on the south-west whereas Saturn stands low in the east. Viewing in the precise direction can place you towards the stunning rings that Saturn beholds. As the time passes by, the planets grow nearer and the upcoming unification will be further grand than the last. This amalgamation will happen at 10 pm on June 21st, 2020. 

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Muneeb ud Deen
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