Annular Solar Eclipse
Period of Activity: Sunday, June 21
Partial Begins: ~3:40–4:12 p.m. JST
Maximum 5:04 p.m. JST
Partial Ends: 5:51 p.m. JST
An annular solar eclipse occurs when a New Moon covers the center of the Sun, creating a ring of light or “ring of fire” around the Moon. This is known as an annulus. Solar eclipses only occur when the Sun and Earth align on opposite sides of the Moon and the only time a New Moon is visible to us is during a solar eclipse. Depending on where you are in the world, you may see the the Sun partially covered. Here in Japan, we will see the eclipse partially, instead of a “ring of fire” effect. Remember, never look directly at the Sun without protective eyewear.
Period of Activity: May 14–June 24
Radiant Point Constellation: Aries
Peak Viewing for May: Saturday, May 16, 3 a.m.
Peak Viewing for June: Sunday, June 7, 4 a.m.
Period of Activity: July 17–Aug. 24
Radiant Point Constellation: Perseus
Peak Viewing: Wednesday, Aug. 11,10 p.m.–Thursday, Aug. 12, 1 a.m.
~50–75 meteors per hour
Stay tuned for more information as this meteor shower approaches.
PERSEIDS METEOR SHOWER
The Perseids Meteor Shower is named for the constellation Perseus and the debris of the Perseids is composed of small particles from the comet Swift-Tuttle. The Perseids are one of the brightest showers of the year to shoot across the sky and a favorite among astronomy enthusiasts in northern latitudes. These meteors begin at mid-evening and increase after midnight. Did you know that Perseus was the son of Zeus in Greek mythology? Before you view the Perseid Shower, try a research activity with your family and find out how this meteor shower was revered in Greek mythology. The history of astronomy and its connection to culture can make viewing even more fun!
Stay tuned for weather information as The Perseids approaches, so you can find a great spot to view it for yourself. Send your photo captures to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured in an upcoming Astro Misawa Sky Watch.
The Outdoor Recreation Center has everything you need for campfires, hiking and getting outdoors. Find what you need to view the spectacular night sky over northern Japan this spring and summer. Call 226-9378 for all ODR needs.
TIPS FOR VIEWING METEOR SHOWERS
1. Track the best time for viewing by finding out when the moon sets over your area. This way, there will be less light pollution and you are more likely to view meteors. Checking the moon phases for less light will also contribute to a better viewing experience. Although there are peak days to view a shower, you may be able to catch more meteors on another day if there is less light pollution. You can do this by finding a moonrise and moonset calendar online.
2. Take the time to view the show. Meteors do not display at constant, there may be intermissions between bursts of viewing time. When you notice the first bursts, you will know where to turn your attention for more.
3. Find a safe and ideal spot that works best for getting comfortable. Grab sleeping bags, pillows, snacks, drinks and the gear you need to lay back and enjoy.
4. Viewing aids are not necessary but can make the experience more fun, and you can look at constellations, planets and learn more about the night sky.
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