Astronomical Events That Could Happen In Your Lifetime
Date: 2020-01-02 13:45:00
Incredible astronomical events to look forward to! From the rare alignments of stars and planets to the jaw-dropping comets and meteors to come.
#10 Total Eclipse of the Sun
Solar eclipses aren’t particularly rare, as the moon at least partially blocks the light of the sun every 18 months on average. However, a total eclipse happens a bit less often as viewing their occurrence hinges heavily on your personal location. Most areas of the world will see this type of eclipse as partial, but certain regions will be able to view it in all its glory…with protective lenses, of course. The next total solar eclipse is slated for December 14th, 2020, but would only apply to parts of the Southern Hemisphere, specifically Southern Africa, most of South America, Antarctica, and those traveling or located throughout the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. Fear not, though, because total eclipses will occur for other parts of the planet every one to two years for the foreseeable future!
#9 Leonid Storm
Each year, the Leonid meteor showers rain down across the sky, typically throughout the days of November, peaking midway through the month. On average, anywhere from 5 to 15 meteors can be seen raining down from the heavens per hour during the shower season. But every 33 years or so, this number increases drastically. What is normally a gentle, sporadic drizzle of meteoroids transforms into a torrential downpour of meteoric debris, cranking up to more than a thousand meteors per hour! These meteoroids are the product of a massive comet called Tempel-Tuttle passing through our solar system. As it traverses space, the heat of the sun causes frozen gases within the comet to evaporate, jettisoning off meteoric chunks in its wake. The resulting stream of galactic debris forms the Leonids and each year, the Earth passes through it. When the planet passes through a relatively fresh stream of cometary shrapnel, this results in the outburst of a meteor storm. The last time the Leonid meteor storm occurred was in 2002, however the most impressive instances of this phenomenon happened in 1966 according to records. The next Leonid storm is predicted to occur in 2034, but interference from Jupiter’s orbit may cause the event to be imperceptible to the majority of Earthlings.