If you’re an astronomy fan, then you’re probably always looking for new and exciting events in the sky. You break at your telescopes at the slightest sign of a meteor shower and lunar and solar eclipses are a delight. Naturally, these events are truly spectacular, and with the halfway point of 2018 fast approaching, there aren’t too many celestial events left to admire. With that being said, I figured I would highlight a few other astronomy events that will be sure to excite even the most casual of amateur astronomers.
Mars Shining Through
On July 27th, Mars will come incredibly close to the moon. At this point, it will be in opposition which means that it will sit opposite the sun. Because of this, Mars will shine incredibly bright and appear to be a large, shining orange star. Because of its asymmetrical orbit, Mars comes closer and further to Earth every year, and this particular year, it will be incredibly close to our planet. Thanks to the timing, Mars will be especially large and bright! Unfortunately, Mars will not be this close and bright again for another 17 years or so.
Partial Solar Eclipse
Last year’s solar eclipse was one for the ages. It felt as though all of America came together to watch a truly beautiful event unfold before our eyes. While we won’t have another total solar eclipse event for quite some time, we will have a similar event later this year. On July 13th, the moon will cover only a small portion of the sun, causing a partial solar eclipse. Unfortunately, the event can only be seen from southern Australia and Antarctica, which means that not many people will be able to enjoy its presence. However, if you happen to be in Southern Australia, feel free to watch safely, with appropriate eye protection.
Taurids Meteor Shower
The Taurids Meteor Shower, while admittedly not very abundant in meteors, is still quite the spectacle. It’s unique in that it runs for a very long stretch of time. The shower runs annually from September 7 to December 10. It is also unique in that it comes in the form of two separate streams: one stream coming from the dust grains of Asteroid 2004 TG10 and the other from the debris left from Comet 2P Encke.
Get out there and enjoy these marvelous events