The Sky Tonight Update: Total Solar Eclipse

Total Solar Eclipse 2019

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon completely blocks the Sun, revealing the Sun’s beautiful outer atmosphere known as the corona. The path of totality will only be visible in parts of the southern pacific Ocean, central Chile, and central Argentina. A partial eclipse will be visible in most parts of the southern Pacific Ocean and western South America.
(NASA Map and Eclipse Information)
(NASA Interactive Google Map)

The Sky Tonight Update: June Solstice

june solstice, autumn solstice, fall solstice

The June solstice occurs at 15:54 UTC. The North Pole of the earth will be tilted toward the Sun, which will have reached its northernmost position in the sky and will be directly over the Tropic of Cancer at 23.44 degrees north latitude. This is the first day of summer (summer solstice) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of winter (winter solstice) in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Sky Tonight Update: Full Moon

full moon

The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 08:31 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Strawberry Moon because it signaled the time of year to gather ripening fruit. It also coincides with the peak of the strawberry harvesting season. This moon has also been known as the Full Rose Moon and the Full Honey Moon.

The Sky Tonight Update: Jupiter at Opposition

Jupiter at Opposition

The giant planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. This is the best time to view and photograph Jupiter and its moons. A medium-sized telescope should be able to show you some of the details in Jupiter’s cloud bands. A good pair of binoculars should allow you to see Jupiter’s four largest moons, appearing as bright dots on either side of the planet.

 

The Sky Tonight Update: Full Moon, Blue Moon

Full Moon, Blue Moon

The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 21:11 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Flower Moon because this was the time of year when spring flowers appeared in abundance. This moon has also been known as the Full Corn Planting Moon and the Milk Moon.

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The Sky Tonight Update: Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower

Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower

The Eta Aquarids is an above average shower, capable of producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. Most of the activity is seen in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, the rate can reach about 30 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet Halley, which has known and observed since ancient times.

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The Night Sky for May 2019

In May, we are looking away from the crowded, dusty plane of our own galaxy—toward a region where the sky is brimming with distant galaxies. Locate Virgo to find a concentration of roughly 2,000 galaxies—and search for Coma Berenices to identify many more. Keep watching for space-based views of the galaxies, including the Sombrero Galaxy, M87, and M64.
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The Sky Tonight Update: Lyrids Meteor Shower

lyrids meteor shower

The Lyrids is an average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, which was discovered in 1861. The shower runs annually from April 16-25. It peaks this year on the night of the night of the 22nd and morning of the 23rd.

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