2019 is going to be a banner year for stargazers around the world. The universe is about to explode with wonder. In this coming year, there will be five eclipses, a rare planet transit, one of the best meteor showers and a super blood wolf moon’
But that is not all. The new year will also bring three supermoons, a blue moon, multiple meteor showers, close approach by the moon and Jupiter and several rocket launches.
Here is a short list of the top things to watch for in the sky:
January 6: Partial Solar Eclipse
The new year begins with a pretty big bang. In the first week of 2019, the moon will pass between the Earth and sun to stage a partial solar eclipse, according to NASA. It will only be visible from northeast Asia and the North Pacific. It will happen around 8:42 p.m. ET in the United States.
January 21: Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse
For the first time in three years, the United States will be able to experience a total lunar eclipse. According to NASA, it will be one of the sky’s “most dazzling shows.” The moon will be at its closest point to Earth, so it will appear slightly bigger and a lot brighter. This event is often referred to as a “supermoon.”
But that’s not the only thing that will make this eclipse unusual. Total lunar eclipses are often call “blood moons” because when the sun, Earth and moon align, the sunlight that passes through the Earth’s atmosphere will appear to turn the moon red. And because lunar eclipses can occur only during a full moon, and the first full moon in January is known as a “wolf moon,” many are calling this spectacular event a “Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse.”
May 6: Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower
The Eta Aquarids meteor shower will be one of the best we will be able to witness, Sky & Telescope reports.
The Eta Aquarids was created by the debris left behind by Halley’s Comet, which flew by Earth in 1986. This famous comet won’t be entering our solar system again until 2061, but its remnants appear in our skies each year.
July 2: Total Solar Eclipse
Now South Asia and South America will enjoy a day of no sun.
In the late afternoon of July 2, a total solar eclipse will occur over southern parts of Chile and Argentina, and parts of the South Pacific. The entire event will take place from 12:55 to 5:50 p.m. ET.
July 16: Partial Lunar Eclipse
2019 begins with a partial solar eclipse, so it’s only fair we also get a lunar one. Unfortunately, the United States will not be witnessing this one, either. South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia will be able to see the full moon dive about two-thirds of the way into the Earth’s umbral shadow.
November 11: Rare Transit of Mercury
For the second time in two years, Mercury will make rare pass in front of the sun, according to NASA. Mercury, the smallest planet in our solar system, passes between Earth and the sun about 13 times a century.
This year, the transit will begin at 7:34 a.m. ET and last around 5 1/2 hours. It will appear as a black dot across the the face of the sun.
December 26: Annular Solar Eclipse
2019 closes on a climax with a rare and glorious “ring of fire.”
The annular eclipse occurs when the circumference of the sun shines brightly from behind the moon. This year, the eclipse will begin right at dawn and pass over the Arabian Peninsula and arc over areas of South Asia.