Longest Lunar Eclipse of the XNUMXst Century "Scheduled" for This July

The longest lunar eclipse of the XNUMXst century will take place at the end of this month of July, the beginning of which is marked […]

The longest lunar eclipse of the XNUMXst century will take place at the end of this month of July, the beginning of which is marked by the passage of the Moon close to Mars, a planet currently found in the constellation of Capricorn.

In turn, the waning quarter of day 6 precedes the Earth's arrival at its aphelion by a few hours: the point in the orbit furthest from the sun.

Despite this, as at this time of year the Earth's northern hemisphere is facing the Sun, it receives more energy than it does when it is at perihelion (closest point of approximation).

On the night of the 9th, we will find Venus (a planet seen throughout the month as an afternoon star) slightly above the heart of the constellation Leo: the star Regulus.

During the next dawn, the Moon will gradually approach Aldebarã, the eye of the constellation Taurus.

At dawn on the 12th, Mercury reaches its greatest elongation (distance from the Sun) to the east. Thus, at dusk of that day, we will see Mercury a hand inch beside the Sun. From this day onwards, Mercury will gradually approach the Sun, no longer being visible at the beginning of August.

Southwestern sky at dusk on the 9th, indicating the position of Mercury and Venus on the night of the 20th and the Moon on the 15th and 20th nights (Images adapted from Stellarium)

The New Moon will take place at dawn on the 13th, occupying part of the sky very close to the plane of Earth's orbit. For this reason, it will cause a partial solar eclipse, which will only be visible in the far south of Australia.

Between the night of the 14th and the dawn of the 16th, we will notice how the Moon moves from the vicinity of Mercury to the foot of Venus. Between these ephemeris, the Moon passes by Regulus on the 15th. This star will also be visited by Mercury on the 24th.

The crescent quarter will take place at sunset on the 19th. This is an excellent opportunity to observe the craters and lunar mounds. A day later we will find our natural satellite beside Jupiter.

At dawn on the 25th, the Moon will pass alongside Saturn, a planet that, these days, is located in the constellation of Sagittarius.

Two mornings later, the planet Mars will be in opposition, ie, the direction diametrically opposite to the Sun. Thus, Mars will be closer to us than usual, appearing slightly larger and brighter.

At the beginning of the night of the 27th, the Full Moon will take place. The alignment of the Sun, Earth and Moon will result in a total lunar eclipse. This will be the longest lunar eclipse of the 18st century, starting at 13 hours and XNUMX minutes (continental time) and ending around midnight.

The night of the 27th to the 28th also coincides with the peak activity of the Aquarid Delta star shower. However, the presence of the full moon will severely limit the number of objects that can be observed, not even reaching ten meteors per hour.

Good remarks!

Southern sky at midnight on the 28th. Also visible is the position of the Moon on the 21st and 25th and the radiant rain of Aquarid Delta stars. (Images adapted from Stellarium)


Author Fernando JG Pinheiro (CITEUC and OGAUC)
Science in the Regional Press – Ciência Viva