We have all heard the hype over the solar eclipse of 2017; the news mentioning it non-stop and people gathering in large groups to see it and spread it on social media. Some people took even took advantage of this event to make some quick money off of people by selling glasses that allow you to view the eclipse without damaging your eyes. For some, this event may have sparked some curiosity in the field of astronomy. Though the solar eclipse may have needed special tools to view without harming your eyesight, there are some solar events that only require curiosity and the ability to see in order to view them.
On November 13th, 2017, the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter occurred, which was one of many of the solar events that are visible to the naked eye. Conjugation occurs when two or more celestial bodies meet in the sky (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 2016). Jupiter and Venus were, specifically, 17 arc minutes off from each other, which is equivalent to 0.28 degrees (Contributor, 2017). Though this event has already happened, there are still a few more astronomical events left in 2017.
The next astronomical event is going to happen on December 3rd, 2017. According to accuweather.com, the last supermoon of 2017 will occur. According to https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/moon/super-full-moon.html, a supermoon occurs when the center of the moon is less than 360,000 kilometers from the center of Earth, causing it to appear bigger and brighter than usual.
Another astronomical event will occur on the night of December 13th: a Geminid meteor shower. This occurs annually and no equipment is needed in order to view it. A meteor is caused by a meteoroid, which is either dust particles or fragments of an asteroid. A meteor is the light given off by a meteoroid, also known as a shooting star (“When and Where to See Meteor Showers”). This specific upcoming meteor shower is called Geminid because of the constellation Gemini, which is where the shower occurs. It is said that during the Geminid Meteor Shower, you can see up to 120 meteors at its peak time (“Look up for the Geminid Meteor Shower”).
To hear more specifics on this upcoming meteor shower, visit https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/meteor-shower/geminids.html . I hope you take the time to watch!
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (2016, November 03). Conjunction. Retrieved November 15, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/topic/conjunction-astronomy
Contributor, Jesse Emspak Space.com. “Venus-Jupiter Conjunction 2017: When, Where and How to See It Monday.” Space.com, 12 Nov. 2017, www.space.com/33792-venus-jupiter-conjunction.html.
“When and Where to See Meteor Showers.” Timeanddate.com, www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/meteor-shower/.
“Look up for the Geminid Meteor Shower.” Timeanddate.com, www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/meteor-shower/geminids.html.
Edited by: Kaylynn Crawford