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Astronomy & Space Events - 2019


Mr. Peabody
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Astronomy Events - 2019

Partial Solar Eclipse - January 6, 2019
Venus at greatest western elongation - January 6, 2019
2019 opens with a partial solar eclipse visible in Siberia and western Russia, and the reindeer won't be the only ones staring in wonderment at the heavens. The rest of us will be pointing our telescopes at our sister planet, Venus. The namesake planet of the god of love will reach its maximum western elongation on January 6th, providing an excellent viewing opportunity.
 

Total Lunar Eclipse - January 21, 2019
The Babylonian empire ended back in 539 B.C., so the ancient lottery won't be selecting anyone for the job of "one-day king." Even so, a total lunar eclipse is a spectacular natural event well worth your attention. Totality will last just over 60 minutes. The eclipse will be visible in north & south America, north Africa, and western Europe.
 

Conjunction of Jupiter & Venus - January 22, 2019 AND November 24, 2019
With no less than two conjunctions of Jupiter and Venus in the same year, astrologers and astronomers alike will be having a field day. So regardless of whether you are looking for signs in the sky or an easy opportunity to sight elusive Venus, you won't want to miss the greatest planetary event of 2019.
 

Jupiter at Opposition - June 10, 2019
The largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter, is never hard to spot. It will be especially conspicuous when it reaches opposition on the 10th of June. Look for the moons Ganymede, Callisto, Europa, and Io which will appear as bright points of light around the gas giant.
 

Total Solar Eclipse - July 2, 2019
These never get old. The eclipse of July 2nd, 2019 will trace a path all the way from Tahiti to Argentina. If you are lucky enough to be in the area, you won't want to miss one of nature's greatest natural spectacles.
 

Saturn at Opposition -July 9, 2019
When Galileo first pointed his telescope at Saturn, he spotted what he later thought to be two massive "handles" on either side. Today we recognize them as Saturn's rings, and there will be no better time to observe them then when the planet reaches opposition on July 9th. The planet will be inclined 24 degrees toward Earth, giving us a great look at those beautiful "handles." Although Saturn will be nearing its closest approach, the rings will not be visible to the naked eye.
 

Perseids - August 13-14, 2019
Perseids, Queen of Meteors - The zenith hourly rate of meteors is expected to reach nearly 80 per hour as the Earth swings through litter left on the highway by comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. Unfortunately the moon will be in a very inconvenient phase (waxing gibbous) limiting the amount of visible shooting stars.
 

Transit of Mercury - November 11, 2019
A transit of Mercury will occur on November 11th as the planet passes between the Earth and the sun. In the United States, those of us in the eastern standard time zone will be able to observe this phenomenon starting just after 7:30 EST, when many of us will be stuck in rush hour traffic. The transit will be visible in the Americas, western Europe, and Africa. Never look directly at the sun without protective equipment.
 

Geminids - December 13-14, 2019
Geminids, King of Meteors - The zenith hourly rate will reach close to 100 meteors per hour as the shower peaks on December the 13th-14th. This meteor shower is my personal favorite and watching it while drinking hot chocolate and listening to beautiful holiday music has become a small tradition of mine. That spoil sport of a moon will once again be at an inconvenient phase (waning gibbous this time) limiting the amount of visible meteors.

Note: This list is a compilation of all significant astronomy events in 2019. Several unimportant/common or inaccessible events (oppositions/elongations of Mercury) have been omitted.

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25 minutes ago, cubinator said:

There's going to be a day in the 2030s when Saturn's rings will briefly become completely invisible. If I'm on Earth at the time, I will be very interested to see that.

How are you going to see something that is completely invisible?

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I hope for a nice, bright comet :) After incredible spectacle of comets Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp, Northern hemisphere is still in the middle of a bad dry spell :( For the last couple of years comets worth mentioning all show up for Southerners ;)

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17 hours ago, cubinator said:

If I'm on Earth at the time, I will be very interested to see that.

Not excluding the possibility of living on Mars.

19 hours ago, The Dunatian said:

the rings will not be visible to the naked eye.

Is there ever a scenario where they are?

 

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4 hours ago, cubinator said:

I realize now I misspoke. The rings will not be visible through a telescope like usual.

Yes, they're visible even with a decent pair of binoculars or a low-cost telescope and a clear night. It'll take a mid- to high-end telescope to pick up the Cassini Divide, though.

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