While 2017 may have had people buzzing over a solar eclipse, 2019 has some astronomy events in store too, AccuWeather is reporting. The year 2019 is expected to have three supermoons, a blue moon, multiple meteor showers, and dozens of rocket launches from Cape Canaveral, Florida. And these aren’t even considered the biggest events to come! The top five should be even more captivating.
On January 20 and 21, a super blood moon eclipse is set to glow red over the United States. If you live anywhere in North America or South America, you should be able to look up at the sky on these dates and see a blood red moon. The red moon should also be visible in some parts of Africa and Europe. The moon will be passing through the earth’s shadow, causing it to turn a rusty orange color before appearing fully red when engulfed in the shadow. The entire eclipse will occur between 9:36 p.m. and 2:48 a.m. EST, but will be at its strongest between 11:41 p.m. and 12:43 a.m EST. Don’t miss out — this will be the last total lunar eclipse visible anywhere in the world until May 26, 2021!
Next is the Eta Aquarids meteor shower, set to occur between May 6 and 7. While there will be other meteor showers throughout the year, this one is especially notable as it will occur during a new moon, which is the best time for meteor showers to occur as there is less natural light coming from the moon, making the meteors more visible.
“Each spring as Earth passes through the debris trail from Halley’s Comet (1P/Halley), the cosmic bits burn up in our atmosphere and result in the annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower,” NASA explained.
South America will experience a total solar eclipse this year, although it might not make as much buzz as 2017’s Great American Eclipse since most of the eclipse will occur over the Pacific Ocean, where there are no people. A few small parts of Chile and Argentina might be able to witness it, though. The rest of South America will only experience a partial solar eclipse — which is still pretty cool.
On August 12 and 13, there will be the Perseid meteor shower, which is considered one of the best meteor showers among stargazers. This shower is known for having the brightest meteors, so people can look up at the stars with just their eyes to see the spectacle, no telescope or binoculars required.
Lastly, the planet Mercury will move across the sun on November 11. This planet is usually harder to spot in comparison to other planets, but the sun will make Mercury more visible this year. This will not happen again until November 23, 2032, so break out your telescopes!
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