Ten Must-See Astronomical Events
I hope you guys are into astronomy because this list is all astronomy. It talks about the upcoming events regarding space that are a must see. There is so much stuff going on out there that we will never be able to discover everything. At least I think so. I guess that is why it’s called space. It is intriguing, see, I have a very curious nature and it bugs me that there is so much stuff beyond our planet that we do not know off and perhaps never will. That’s the reason why I keep looking into these things from time to time. That, and the fact that the various phenomenons in space are mostly gorgeous.
10. VENUS TRANSIT
I am a little late on this one but oh well. The transit happened on the fifth and sixth June and it was clearly visible. There is information available on the complete transit online so if you are interested you can check it out. You might still be lucky to catch the Mercury transit which is much more frequent and is discussed ahead. Enjoy.
9. MERCURY TRANSIT
Mercury transits of the sun are much regular and frequent. It is obvious because it is much closer to the Sun and it is on a faster orbit. The transit will continue from May 8 to 10th November. Be sure to keep a look out somehow because the next transit will happen in the year 2016. The transits are sliding down the year actually because according to various reports, back in the year 1585, these transits occurred somewhere between April and October; nothing to be concerned about I hope.
8. A BUSY YEAR 2015
The year 2015 will start with a complete solar eclipse. That will happen on the twentieth March. If you are hunting these eclipses, let me tell you now that the best place to view the eclipse would be in the Norwegian Sea. Come 4th April and we should witness a complete lunar eclipse that should be visible in the North and South America, East Asia and Australia. July 14th, and the New Horizons spacecraft will reach its closest approach to Pluto; should be an interesting year for all the astronomy guys.
Do you know what comets are? They are supposed to be the leftovers from when the universe was created. Scientists have this urgent need to give them a more detailed study and figure out how this all began. Rosetta is supposed to chase a comet and land on it after catching up as it enters our solar system and you should know that this sort of stunt has never been pulled before. The comet I am referring to is the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko or C-G in simpler words.
We now have a good understanding of the largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter and that is all thanks to Voyager and Galileo. The purpose of sending Juno off to Jupiter is to discover exactly how the planet came into existence. Now, I have no idea how they intend to do that but I hope they succeed. It will be interesting. Juno should be able to study the power magnetic and the gravitational field. The north and south poles will also be studied. Oh the auroras there should be amazing.
The picture you see above is of an asteroid. It is called Vesta. Dawn is supposed to visit the two largest objects in the asteroid belt and Vesta is one of them. Vesta has already been paid a visit by the spacecraft. It happened on the 16th July in the year 2011. The spacecraft was launched somewhere in the year 2007. The second place the spacecraft will visit is called Ceres. It is a planet. Dawn should arrive there in the February of the year 2015. The mission ends after the conduction of scientific experiments on the planet for the remainder of the year.
4. MARS SCIENCE LABORATORY
The lab was launched on the 26th November of the year 2011. It is in perfect health and on its way to Mars. The trip from Earth to Mars is around 254 days or 36 weeks. It’s June now and the lab is supposed to land on mars somewhere in August of this year; probably 5th or 6th. Curiosity is the robot on this spacecraft and is supposed to be highly advanced. More advanced than the ones already roaming the surface of Mars (duh!). the question remains; is Mars habitable?
3. JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE (JWST)
This particular project is supposed to serve as a replacement for the Hubble telescope. Hubble telescope is still alive and fully functional by the way. This particular one is named after James Webb. The telescope should be able to take visual and infrared images. It will take over from the Hubble telescope and search for distant horizons in space. The telescope should be placed at a stationary position at Lagrange Point 2 making it the first.
Voyager 1 and two were both launched in the year 1977. Both of them paid a visit to Jupiter and then left for Saturn. Voyager 1’s direction was set so it would move out of the solar system. Voyager 2 however, carried on to Uranus and Neptune. In the year 1998, Voyager 1 went ahead of Pioneer 10 and became the first manmade object to travel that far from Earth. As of February 2012 it was 180,000,000,000 kilometers from Earth. That is a long, long distance. I wish it a safe voyage.
1. NEW HORIZONS
This is perhaps the greatest achievement of man. New Horizons was launched in the year 2006. It has journeyed around 2 billion miles and continues to travel as I write. It still has around 1 billion miles to go. The New Horizons is on its way to Pluto as I am typing and it should reach the poor minor planet (downgraded a while back from planet) on the 14th July of the year 2015. I wonder how the entire solar system and our very own planet will look like from the ship. It should be an epic view.