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Eclipses and other 3 astronomical phenomena that you should watch

At least once in your life, you should watch these events. Discover which ones

Eclipses and other 3 astronomical phenomena that you should watch

We are fascinated to know when and how to observe different astronomical phenomena. However, we do not always know what those events are, which at least once in a lifetime we must watch. In this list, we reviewed 5 must-see events:

Sun eclipse: witnessing a total solar eclipse must be on your to-do list. According to NASA , an eclipse occurs when a celestial body such as the Moon or a planet moves in the shadow of another celestial body.

Leer en español: Eclipses y otros 3 fenómenos astronómicos que debes ver

In the case of a solar eclipse, the space agency ensures that the moon positions itself between the Earth and the Sun causing the light of the latter does not reach the planet and casting a shadow.

Fun facts:

  • What you may not known is that there are 3 types of eclipse: total eclipse, partial eclipse, and annular eclipse. The latter happens when the Moon is far from the Earth and stands between the sun and the planet, but because it is so far away, it seems like the Moon has a ring around it.
  • Solar eclipses take place every 18 months.
  • You should always use protection to observe a Sun eclipse.

Moon eclipse: As in a solar eclipse, a celestial body moves in the shadow of another generating this event. In the case of lunar eclipses, the Earth is the one that moves between the Moon and the Sun. According to NASA, the planet blocks the Sun's light that is normally reflected in the Moon, producing a shadow over it. There are only two types of lunar eclipses: total and partial.

Fun facts:

  • The Moon shines because the light of the Sun reflects on it.
  • An eclipse can only happen if there is a full Moon.
  • NASA says that each year there are at least 2 partial eclipses.
  • The total eclipses of Moon are strange and happen less frequently.

Also watch: Video: If you missed the shooting stars, relive the best moments here

Rain of Stars : We could recently witness the Perseids, a shower of stars that illuminated the night sky. You cannot miss this cosmic spectacle, because they are meteors that pass near the Earth at a speed so fast that is why they are known as shooting stars.

The space agency reports that, for example, the Perseids travel an incredibly fast speed of 132 thousand miles per hour; that is, 59 kilometers per second. According to NASA , this is 500 times faster than any car on Earth.

Fun facts:

  • The Perseids can be seen every August. Schedule for the next year!
  • NASA explains that each meteorite that composes the Perseids is a small piece of the Swift-Tuttle comet, which orbits the sun every 133 years.
  • In popular wisdom, it is said that you can ask for wishes and these meteors can fulfill them.

Comet: Another incredible phenomenon to observe is the passage of a comet near the Earth. Comets are "a ball of frozen gases, rock and dust that is about the size of a small city," according to NASA. If you have not seen a comet and you're dying to do it, next December and until mid-January it will be possible to watch comet 46P / Wirtanen at a glance. According to La Jornada , this comet lasts approximately 5 and a half years in orbiting the Sun.

Curious fact:

  • NASA claims that comets are often referred to as "dirty snowballs" because of their composition.

Summer and winter solstice: The solstices mark the beginning of the seasons. For that reason, around the world the summer solstice and the winter solstice are celebrated. During this event, the Sun reaches its maximum or minimum altitudes depending on the season.

Fun facts:

  • The dates of the solstices are inverted in the hemispheres.
  • Ancient cultures celebrated these events. For example, the Romans and the Celts celebrated the return of the Sun and its triumph over the darkness.
  • Today, the December solstice coincides with the celebration of the birth of Jesus or Christmas.

LatinAmerican Post | Marcela Peñaloza
Translated from “Eclipses y otros 3 fenómenos astronómicos que debes ver”

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