This kind of thing only happens once every few decades in North America and on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 the sun, moon and Earth will align to create a full solar eclipse that will cover most of Canada and the USA.
Some south of the border may get a bit better glimpse (Oregon to South Carolina) but for those of us further north anywhere from Vancouver to St. John’s will still be treated to a celestial spectacle not seen in some time.
The luckiest Canadians are those in the west, who will see nearly 90 per cent of the sun go dark around 10 a.m. PST. As the eclipse moves farther east, the sun should be obscured by about 80 per cent in lower Alberta and Saskatchewan, 70 to 75 per cent in northern Alberta, Manitoba and western/central Ontario, 60 to 70 per cent in eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, and finally 60 per cent or less from Quebec City east to Newfoundland.
This year will bring many impressive and eye-catching astronomical and celestial events. In fact, 2017 has already started spectacularly – with Quadrantids Meteor Shower on January 3rd.
The total solar eclipse that will cross the US on 21, August will probably be the biggest sky event of the year. But be prepared for meteor showers, lunar eclipses, close planetary pairings, Supermoon and plenty of other incredible shows in our skies.
Also, many important space events are scheduled for 2017. Many space missions will start this year, but, some of them will end spectacularly and dramatically. Here are some of the must-see sky events of 2017. Be sure not to miss them!
PERSEIDS METEOR SHOWER, AUGUST, 12, 13
You don’t want to miss one of the best meteor showers of the year. Almost 60 meteors per hour will be visible during the night. These meteors are debris produced by comet Swift-Tuttle which was discovered in 1862. These meteor showers run annually from July 17 to August 24.
The bright moon will not be able to block out the meteors view since the Perseids are very bright and numerous. The celestial show will radiate from Perseus constellation, but it will be visible anywhere in the sky.
CASSINI’S GRAND FINALE, SEPTEMBER 15
After more than 19 years since launching and more than 12 years studying Saturn, its rings and moons, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will finish its epic voyage. Cassini Spacecraft has entered the first phase of ts final mission on November 30, 2016 and it has already sent astonishing photos of Saturn’s surface and Saturn’s mysterious hexagon-shaped storms.
The Grand Finale, the last phase of the journey, will begin in April 2017. During this phase, Cassini will make the closest-ever observations of Saturn, mapping the planet’s magnetic and gravity fields with exquisite precision and returning ultra-close views of the atmosphere.
On September 15, spacecraft will send collected information and will end its mission by crashing into Saturn. Cassini has toured the Saturn system since arriving there 2004 and during its journey, has made many discoveries, including a global ocean within Enceladus and liquid methane seas on Titan.
CONJUNCTION OF VENUS AND JUPITER, NOVEMBER 13
The two bright planets will be extremely close in our skies at dawn on November 13. The conjunction will occur very low to the horizon in the eastern sky. The two brightest celestial objects in our skies will appear to be extremely close, appearing only 0.3 degrees apart. This close encounter will be spectacular and impressive, so be ready for it before the Sun rises!
SUPERMOON, DECEMBER 3
This will be the only Supermoon for 2017, so prepare your telescopes and cameras! Everyone surely loves the big, bright, orange Moon, so this is one of the sky events you don’t want to miss. Supermoon occurs time after time, due to the Moon elliptical orbit.
When the Moon achieves its closest approach to the Earth on its orbit, it can look 13% bigger than usually does. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. Astronomers suggest looking out for the Supermoon when it is low in the sky just after sunset or before sunrise. At this position, the Moon looks bigger and brighter, because you can compare the apparent size of the Moon with elements in the landscape like hills, foliage, and buildings.
GEMINIDS METEOR SHOWER, DECEMBER 13, 14
There is a good reason why the Geminids is called the king of meteor showers – it is considered to be the best shower in skies. It can produce up to 120 multicolored meteors per just an hour. This celestial show is visible annually from December 7-17. Actually, Geminids meteor shower is produced from left behind debris or space trash by an asteroid discovered in 1982. The shower can be viewed by most of the world in the constellation of the Gemini (Twins), from where the meteors will radiate. The 2016 Geminids meteor shower was matching Supermoon which brightness interfered with the view of the meteors. That will not happen this year – the sky will be dark enough for the excellent show.
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There is no better time to maximize your perspective and take advantage of these great celestial events than to buy your star gazing equipment at Radioworld during our Optics and Solar Eclipse Promotion at Radioworld running July 26th – August 27, 2017.