As school resumes in a few days time, let’s kick start off on what to expect for this year.
Jan. 15: Annular solar eclipse: A partial eclipse can be observed in Singapore, around 16:00 to 16:30. Do take care of your eyes when viewing a solar eclipse
Jan. 29: Mars comes close: Nope, Mars will never be as bright as the Moon, but it will still flare brightly as the red dot in the sky
Feb. 16: Venus-Jupiter conjunction: Happy Chinese New Year and happy recess week!!! Two of the brightest planets in the night sky come within half a degree of each other. Unfortunately, it will be all too easy to lose the planets in the glare of the setting sun. After sunset, pull out your binoculars and check the area above and slightly to the left of where the sun dips beneath the horizon. You should see Venus just below and to the left of Jupiter.
March 28: Venus-Mercury pairing: Our final exams loom around the corner, and this one of the rare chances to identify Mercury. For two weeks in late March and early April, you can spot the two closest-in planets traveling together in the west-northwest sky just after sunset.
June 20-21: Comet McNaught in view? Comet McNaught C/2009 R1 was discovered last year by Australian comet-hunter Rob McNaught. Colorado Mountain College’s Jimmy Westlake predicts that it could put on a “nice show” around solstice time, particularly if you’re using binoculars. “Look northwest after sunset June 20 and in the northeast before sunrise June 21,” he writes. “If I am right, this could be an unforgettable view.”
June 26: Partial lunar eclipse: Earth’s shadow will take a bite out of the full moon before sunrise over the western United States, but the best places to see this eclipse are in the Pacific and Asia. Just look out for the Moon during midnight.
July 11: Total solar eclipse: Not visible in Singapore or anywhere near civilization. You might want to consider a cruise ship along the Pacific Ocean or a trip to the Easter Island.
Aug. 11-12: Perseid meteor shower: Time flies and its the start of Sem 1 10/11. This year’s show should be better than usual, largely because it will be unsullied by the moon’s glare. Experts project that viewing rates could hit 90 meteors per hour under peak conditions. (PS: Peak conditions rarely happen in Singapore)
Sept. 21: Jupiter in opposition: The solar system’s biggest planet is practically as big as it can get in the night sky, due to its position with relation to the sun and Earth. A medium-size telescope should bring out details in Jupiter’s banded cloud patterns. We should probably be able to view it right before the recess week.
Oct. 20: Comet Hartley 2 passes by: This comet makes its closest approach to Earth on Oct. 20, coming within 11.2 million miles. Space.com’s Joe Rao says Comet Hartley 2 “should briefly become a naked-eye object” in morning skies, although you’d have to get far away from city lights to see it. In early November, the Deep Impact spacecraft will observe the comet from a distance of about 600 miles.
Dec. 13-14: Geminid meteor shower: The Geminids are generally considered one of the year’s most reliable meteor showers – that is, if the moon’s glare doesn’t interfere. The moon is due to set soon after midnight for this year’s show, which could produce peak rates of 120 meteors per hour. Join us at AstroBash to catch the Geminids!
Dates taken from : http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2010/01/04/2165357.aspx
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