Stargazing is going to ROCK in 2013..mark down these dates!
posted Jan 2 2013 12:00AM
In general, 2013 promises an action-packed 12 months for stargazers. Hopefully, your local weather will cooperate on most, if not all of these dates. The following list below includes some of the most promising night sky events of the upcoming year! [100 Best Space Photos of 2012]
Very Close Moon/Jupiter ConjunctionJan. 21:
For North Americans, this is a real head-turner, one easily visible even from brightly lit cities. A waxing gibbous moon, 78-percent illuminated, will pass within less than a degree to the south of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system
Feb. 2 to 23: Best Evening View of Mercury
Mercury, the "elusive" innermost planet, will travel far enough from the glare of the sun to be readily visible in the western sky, soon after sunset. On the evening of Feb. 8, Mercury will skim within less than 0.4 degrees of the much-fainter planet, Mars.
March 10 to 24: Comet PANSTARRS at Its Best!
Comet PANSTARRS, discovered in June 2011 using the Pan-STARRS 1 Telescope at Haleakala, Hawaii, is expected to put on its best show during this two-week period.
April 25: Partial Lunar Eclipse
This will be a very minor partial lunar eclipse, with the moon's uppermost limb merely grazing the Earth's dark, umbral shadow. At mid-eclipse, less than 2 percent of the moon's diameter will be inside the dark shadow. The Eastern Hemisphere (Europe, Africa, Australia and most of Asia) will have the best view.
This lunar eclipse will not be visible from North America.
May 9: Annular Eclipse of the Sun
During annular solar eclipse (also known as a "Ring of Fire" eclipse), the long, umbral shadow cone of the moon is too short to reach the Earth. In angular size, the moon's disk appears about 4.5 percent smaller than the disk of the sun. So, the effect is like placing a penny atop a nickel: a ring of sunlight remains visible surrounding the moon.
May 24 to 30: Dance of the Planets
Mercury, Venus and Jupiter will provide a fascinating show low in the west-northwest twilight sky soon after sunset. They will seemingly shuffle around each other, changing their positions noticeably from one evening to the next.
June 23: Biggest Full Moon of 2013
On June 23, the moon turns full at 7:32 a.m. EDT(1132 GMT),and just 32 minutes earlier it will arrive at its closest point to the Earth in 2013 at a distance of 221,824 miles (356,991 km), making it a so-called supermoon.
Aug. 12: The Perseid Meteor Shower
The annual Perseid meteor shower is considered among the best of the annual displays thanks to its high rates of up to 90-meteors-per-hour for a single observer, as well as its reliability.
Oct. 18: Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon
The moon slides through the northern part of the Earth's penumbral shadow during this lunar eclipse event.
Nov. 3: Hybrid Eclipse of the Sun
This is a rather unusual solar eclipse in that, along its track, which runs for 8,450 miles (13,600 km) across the Earth's surface, the eclipse quickly morphs from annular to total; it is therefore known to astronomers as a "hybrid eclipse."
Mid-November Through December: Comet ISON
On Sep. 21, 2012, two amateur astronomers (Vitali Nevski of Belarus and Artyom Novichonok of Russia)used a telescope owned by the International Scientific Optical Network to discover a new comet that was christened using the acronym of the instrument used to find it: Comet ISON.
December (all month): Dazzling Venus
Venus won’t be as bright an "evening star" again until 2021.
Dec. 13 to 14: Geminid Meteor Shower
If there is one meteor display guaranteed to put on a very entertaining show, it is the Geminid meteor shower. Most meteor experts now place it at the top of the list, as it surpasses in brilliance and reliability even August's Perseids.
So stargazers mark your calendars: 2013 promises to be a great year for skywatching, and if you take an impressive photo of the night sky, let