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Five celestial treats are in store for sky-watchers in the coming months.
‘Ring Of Fire’ Eclipse
On Sunday, June 21, 2020 the Sun is going to turn into a ‘Ring Of Fire.’ It’s an Annular Solar Eclipse. The ‘Ring Of Fire’ eclipse will be visible at sunrise in the Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, then as a higher-in-the-sky spectacle in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Yemen, Oman, Pakistan, India, China and Taiwan. It will end south of Guam in the Pacific Ocean.
Mars At Opposition
2020 will be a spectacular year for Mars. The Red Planet arrives at opposition to the Sun on October 13, 2020. It will be visible from dusk to dawn and shining at an eye-popping magnitude of -2.6, brighter than even mighty Jupiter, and a full three times brighter than Sirius! Opposition for Mars – when Earth passes between Mars and the Sun – happens every two years and 50 days. A close encounter with Mars that’s not to be missed.
A ‘Rare’ Halloween Blue Moon.
Blue Moons are uncommon, rising once every two or three years, but a Blue Moon on Halloween is very rare. After the Blue Moon on October 31, 2020, sky-watchers will need to wait until 2039 to see the next Blue Moon on Halloween.
An Epic Total Solar Eclipse
The only total solar eclipse of the year will cause day to turn to night on December 14, 2020. It will be visible from Chile and some parts of Argentina in the afternoon. Some regions in southern South America, south-west Africa and Antarctica will see a partial solar eclipse, if the weather permits. The total eclipse will last 2 minutes and 10 seconds.
The 2020 ‘Great Conjunction’ of Jupiter and Saturn
The final astronomy event of the year will be one of the most intriguing as Jupiter and Saturn make an extremely close encounter. Jupiter and Saturn are in conjunction with each other on an average of once about every 20 years. However, this meeting of Jupiter and Saturn on December 21, 2020 will be incredibly close. In fact, this will be the ‘tightest’ conjunction of these two worlds since 1623, according to the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Happy Skywatching!