Space Gaze Children

Astronomical show

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The year begins with a bang. Meteor showers, full moon, lunar eclipse and a planetary dance too.

The nights of January 3 and 4 were lit up by the Quadrantids.

Look out for the full moon tonight. Native Americans called it the Wolf Moon, or Full Wolf Moon because this is the time of year hungry wolf packs roamed. It is also been know as Old Moon and the Moon After Yule.

Tonight also happens to be the penumbral lunar eclipse. It will be visible on the night of January 10 and 11 in most places, including Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe, Atlantic Canada and Alaska.

A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, earth, and moon are imperfectly aligned. The earth blocks some of the sun’s light from reaching the moon’s surface and covers all or part of the moon with the outer part of its shadow, known as the penumbra. The moon will look tea-stained during this eclipse. It lasts from 17:07 p.m. to 21:12 p.m.

Planetary parade

Watch Venus grow brighter in the evening sky towards the end of January. The planet is easy to spot as it outshines almost every star in the sky.

On the evening of January 27, train your telescope to see the elusive Neptune, which can be seen just below and to the right of Venus. It will look like a dim blue star. From mid January, Jupiter will be visible at dawn. The moon will be close to Jupiter on the 23rd and 24th.

From January 15 to 25 you can see the Ursae Minorid Meteor Shower. It is expected to peak on the night of January 19. A weak meteor shower, you may spot only as many as three meteors per hour.

January 24 is the New Moon and it will be located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 6:06:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/astronomical-show/article30510938.ece

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