Published On: Mon, Jan 13th, 2014

Various astronomical phenomena will be visible in Yucatan skies this year

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This year, the Yucatan Peninsula will be literally “covered” with various astronomical phenomena that will be historical, from the absence of full moon in February, to an “early” equinox, that will never again match on March 21.

But in addition, there will be 28 meteor showers, at least two total lunar eclipses, 3 conjunctions and 2 oppositions … all this “dance” of stars will deck the Peninsular sky during 2014.

The astronomer and researcher of Merida Institute of Technology (ITM), Eddie Salazar Gamboa, said that among the most important phenomena that will be seen, are two total lunar eclipses that will happen on April 15 and October 8.

He added that there will be 28 meteor showers, the most important will be on August 12 and December 13 with an average of 80 meteors per hour approximately.

Salazar Gamboa said that among the astronomical curiosities this year, we will have 13 full moons, we will also have two new moons in the months of January and March, and there will be no full moon in the month of February.

“The spring equinox will happen on March 20 this year. And from 2016 it will happen on the 19th of the month, but it will never again happen on the 21st, since the equinoxes and solstices are moving.” 

Also, the summer solstice will occur on June 21, the autumn equinox on September 22, and the winter solstice on December 21.

On the other hand, the Sun will be exactly in the zenith, on May 25 and July 11, highlighting the absence of perpendicular shadows, which will be evident in the Mayan archaeological sites of Chichen Itza, Dzibilchaltún Mayapan, Oxkintoc, San Antonio Chel and Uxmal.

Conjunction of Mercury and Venus, appear above the Moon, at the Paranal Observatory.

Conjunction of Mercury and Venus, appear above the Moon, at the Paranal Observatory.

Planet Conjunctions:

  • August 18: Venus and Jupiter.
  • August 25: Mars and Saturn.
  • November 13: Venus and Saturn.

Conjunctions involve two Solar System bodies, or one Solar System body and one more distant object such as a star. A conjunction is an apparent phenomenon caused by perspective only: there is no close physical approach in space between the two objects involved.

Earth, Jupiter and the sun are all in a line in mid-August as Jupiter reaches its opposition point. The planet is about 375 million miles from Earth or 186 million miles closer than when our planet is on the other end of its orbit. Illustration: Bob King.

Earth, Jupiter and the sun are all in a line in mid-August as Jupiter reaches its opposition point. The planet is about 375 million miles from Earth or 186 million miles closer than when our planet is on the other end of its orbit. Illustration: Bob King.

Planet Oppositions:

  • April 8: Mars
  • May 10: Saturn.

When the Earth is between a planet and the Sun, this is called a planet opposition, In positional astronomy, two celestial bodies are said to be in opposition when they are on opposite sides of the sky, viewed from a given place (usually the Earth).

Sources:

http://sipse.com/milenio/lluvia-estrellas-eclipse-luna-alineacion-astros-yucatan-70323.html

http://astrobob.areavoices.com/2009/08/15/how-io-helped-us-clock-the-speed-of-light/

 

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