This Weekend’s Eclipse Is The First of 6 This Year, Here’s What You Need To Know

By January 6, 2019 Space

There are going to be several eclipses this year some solar and some lunar. While you might not be able to see them all, chances are you can catch a good look at at least a couple.

The partial solar eclipse we’re facing right now (January 5th-6th) is the first of six total eclipses. While you won’t be able to see this one here in the US, if you are in northeast Asia you will be getting quite the sight. If you happen to be in an area where you can see this event you will want to still protect your eyes even though it’s not a total eclipse and can click here for what times you should be trying to view.

From here we will be facing a real treat at the end of the month, as on January 21st there will be a super blood moon. The blood moon part meaning there will be a total lunar eclipse. This one will be something most everyone can view within reason. During this time the moon itself will be bright and reddish in appearance.

There will be as follows eclipse-wise in 2019:

Partial solar eclipse (January 5th-6th)

Total lunar eclipse (January 20th-21st)

Total solar eclipse (July 2nd)

Partial lunar eclipse (July 16th-17th)

Mercury transit (November 11th)

Annular solar eclipse (December 26th)

So, as you can see there will be a lot going on in the months to come. The Mercury transit is going to be quite the experience for many as this will not happen again for 13 more years. Here in the US, we will not be able to see the Annular solar eclipse or the total solar eclipse firsthand but they can be viewed online as can most of the others mentioned on this list.

When it comes to looking at the sun please take the precautions needed to ensure your eyes are not going to be harmed. Mercury transit is interesting to note, during this time Mercury will pass in front of the sun. As mentioned above, this will not happen again for quite some time. You can click here to go over the different times at which this event will be observable for those in the US.

Now, when it comes to observing this kind of thing (Mercury transit that is) you should keep in mind as follows:

Since Mercury is only 1/194 of the Sun’s apparent diameter, a telescope with a magnification of 50x or more is recommended to watch this event. The telescope must be suitably equipped with adequate filtration to ensure safe solar viewing. The visual and photographic requirements for the transit are identical to those for observing sunspots and partial solar eclipses. Amateurs can make a useful contribution by timing the four contacts at ingress and egress. Observing techniques and timing equipment are similar to those used for lunar occultations. Since poor seeing often increases the uncertainty in contact timings, an estimate of the possible error associated with each time should be included. 

To learn more about what these interesting events are please check out the video below. While it might not seem like much this kind of thing really does show just how interesting the universe is. Such simple events make such monumental experiences.

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