Friday, July 27, 2018

A full fledged celestial trifecta

The next month will be an active one for 
those who like to watch the skies

If the lingering fog of the North Coast would be kind enough to clear out for a few nights, we might have a good reason to keep our eyes on the night skies through the rest of July and into August.

The celestial theatre is about to take us on a string of adventures this month, starting with an eclipse of the Blood Moon currently underway, dubbed as the longest lunar eclipse of the century.

Though for the Northwest the show, much of the event is rolling through our daytime period and won't be quite as spectacular for us as for those in points further south and where evening has arrived.

We can however follow along through streaming video, the next best thing to sitting outside and looking up!

NASA plans to show live images through their website from 11:15 AM to 4:30 PM PT

Beyond the eclipse, the earths atmosphere is set for an invasion of comet debris over the next two weeks as the Delta Auarid debris field crosses our path, a shower of space particles that will apparently last through the summer and lead Earth into the annual Perseid shower.

And those with an eye for the star maps, will be watching as Mars continues a transit that brings it as close to earth as it's been in a while, with the planet just down the celestial road set to go into opposition as star gazers put it, a journey towards us that will make the Red Planet appear about ten times brighter to those of us on Earth, and affording the closest view of the planet since 2003.

And should you miss it, may a long life be yours, as the next closest pass for the planet won't be until August of 2287 ... book your seats now!

For a helpful guid to all that will take place above through the rest of the summer, the Earth and Sky Website and NASA portal both provide some good insight as to what to be looking for.

As for the immediate sky watching, tonight may not deliver the North Coast a night of star gazing with drizzle expected overnight, however if all goes well and our fingers remain crossed, Saturday and Sunday evenings may be just right to keep your eyes to the sky.

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