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First Meteor Shower of the Year & Other Celestial Events in 2018

The year’s first meteor shower was visible on the night of 3-4 Jan, but there are many others coming up!

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Predicting everything that is going to happen in this new year isn't possible, but there are going to be many amazing astronomical incidents in our solar system and galaxy in 2018 that we can predict and you can witness. The year's first meteor shower was visible on the night of 3-4 January. If you missed it, don’t worry, there are many other such celestial events, which we will tell you about now.

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Mesmerising Meteor Showers

Wishing upon shooting stars is an old tradition. In reality, what people wish on isn’t a falling star, rather, it is a meteor which starts burning as soon as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere. This year, on the night of 3-4 January, the Quadrantids meteor shower was visible.

On the night of 22-23 April, the Lyrids meteor shower will light up the sky; 6-7 May will have the Eta Aquarids meteor shower; 28-29 July will be the Delta Aquarids meteor shower; 12-13 August the Perseids meteor shower; 8 October will see the Draconids meteor shower; 21-22 October will be the Orionids meteor shower; 17-18 November the Leonids meteor shower; 13-14 December the Geminids meteor shower and 21-22 December will see the Ursids meteor shower.

A Supermoon and a Blue Moon!

When the moon is at its closest to Earth, it is called a supermoon, owing to the fact that such a moon looks much larger and brighter than usual. This supermoon will be visible in the night sky on 31 January. This supermoon will be the second of January, with the first having come on New Year’s Day. The supermoon on 31 January is also called a blue moon, which is the name given to the second full moon in any month! The moon doesn’t actually appear blue though, sorry to disappoint.

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Total Lunar Eclipse

31 January will also bear witness to a total lunar eclipse, and since it will also be a supermoon and a blue moon, the sight will be unlike anything else! It will be visible throughout most of western North America, eastern Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Ocean. 27 July will have another total lunar eclipse, although this one not with a supermoon; this one will be seen across most of the world.

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Partial Solar Eclipse

The year's first partial solar eclipse will be on 15 February. There will be another one on 13 July, visible only in Southern Australia and Antarctica. For most of the world, a partial solar eclipse will be visible on 11 August.

Planets Draw Near

On the 15 March, Mercury will be at its greatest eastern elongation from the sun, because of which it will be most easily visible from the Earth. On 9 May, Jupiter will be at its closest approach to Earth and clearly visible. Similarly, on 27 June Saturn will be at its closest to us. Mars will be at its closest to Earth on 27 July. Neptune will be closest on 7 September and Uranus will be easily visible on 23 October.

(This article was originally published on Hindi Quint. Translated by Mariam Shaheen.)

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