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ATLANTA — The night sky will have many delights in store for stargazers in 2024.
Full moons and meteor showers will light up the sky. Increased solar activity is expected to produce aurora borealis that create colorful displays. Eclipse chasers have been counting down to 2024 since the “Great American Eclipse” of 2017 – because a total solar eclipse will travel across the US in April.
Keep your telescopes and binoculars ready, and don't forget to snag a pair of eclipse glasses so you can safely view the total solar eclipse.
Full moons and supermoons
There will be 12 full moons during 2024, and lunar events in September and October will also be considered a supermoon, according to EarthSky.
Definitions of a supermoon can vary, but the term generally refers to a full moon that is closer to Earth than usual and therefore appears larger and brighter in the night sky. Some astronomers say this phenomenon occurs when the Moon is within 90% of perigee – its closest approach to Earth in orbit.
Here is the full moon of 2024:
- January 25: Wolf Moon
- February 24: Snow Moon
- March 25: Worm Moon
- April 23: Pink Moon
- May 23: Venus Moon
- June 21: Strawberry Moon
- July 21: Pac Moon
- August 19: Sturgeon Moon
- September 17: Harvest Moon
- October 17: Hunter's Moon
- November 15: Beaver Moon
- December 15: Cold Moon
Solar and lunar eclipse
Multiple eclipses will occur in 2024, including two types of lunar eclipses and two types of solar eclipses, according to the Emirates News Agency. Old Farmer's Almanac.
The most anticipated of these events is the total solar eclipse that will occur on April 8, which will be visible to residents of Mexico, the United States and Canada. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, completely blocking the face of the sun.
Those located in the path of totality, or locations where the Moon's shadow will completely cover the Sun, will witness a total solar eclipse. People outside the path of totality will still be able to see a partial solar eclipse, in which the Moon obscures only part of the Sun's face.
A total solar eclipse will not be visible across the contiguous United States again until August 2044.
An annular solar eclipse will occur in the sky on October 2 over parts of South America. This type of eclipse is similar to a total solar eclipse, except that the Moon is located at the farthest point in its orbit from the Earth, so it cannot completely block the Sun. Instead, an annular solar eclipse creates a “ring of fire” in the sky where the fiery sunlight surrounds the moon's shadow.
Meanwhile, a penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible to many across Europe, northern and eastern Asia, Australia, Africa, North America and South America from March 24-25.
A lunar eclipse, which makes the Moon appear dark or dim, occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon line up so that the Moon passes into Earth's shadow. A penumbral lunar eclipse is more subtle and occurs when the Moon moves through the Earth's outer shadow or penumbra.
A partial lunar eclipse, when the Earth moves between the sun and the moon without being completely aligned, will appear over Europe and most parts of Asia, Africa, North America and South America in the period from September 17 to 18.
Checks Location time and date To find out when each of these eclipses will appear.
Solar activity and aurora borealis
The Sun is expected to reach solar maximum, or the peak of its 11-year activity cycle, in mid-to-late 2024.
When the Sun is active, it emits powerful solar flares and coronal mass ejections, or large clouds of ionized gas called plasma, and magnetic fields that erupt from the Sun's outer atmosphere. Solar storms generated by the Sun can affect electrical power grids, GPS, aviation, and satellites in low Earth orbit. These events also cause power outages and even pose risks to manned space missions.
the Space Weather Prediction CenterThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colorado, will closely monitor the sun and issue warnings and forecasts about solar activity that could affect Earth. Scientists are eagerly anticipating what they can learn about the Sun's activity by observing it during the total solar eclipse in April.
However, the most positive side effect of increased solar activity is the aurora borealis that dance around the Earth's poles, known as the northern lights, or aurora borealis, and the southern lights, or aurora australis.
When energetic particles from coronal mass ejections reach Earth's magnetic field, they interact with gases in the atmosphere to form different colored lights in the sky.
Sun-driven geomagnetic storms in 2023 will cause auroras to appear in places where they can rarely be seen, including as far south as New Mexico, Missouri, North Carolina and California in the United States, southeast England and other parts of the world. United kingdom.
Depending on location, the aurora may not always be visible above, but it creates a colorful display on the horizon.
The new year begins with a meteor shower almost immediately. The Quadrantid meteor shower is expected to reach its peak between January 3 and 4, according to Science Alert. EarthSky.
After the Quadrantids, there is a bit of a lull in meteor shower activity, and the next event won't occur until April. Fortunately, there are plenty of celestial events to expect during the long wait.
Here's the complete list of meteor showers that will occur in 2024, according to American Meteor Society.
- Quartets: January 3-4
- Lerides: April 21-22
- Eta Aquarius: May 4-5
- Buckeyes in the southern delta: July 30-31
- Alpha Capricorn: July 30-31
- Perseids: August 12-13
- The Dragons: October 7-8
- Orions: October 21-22
- Southern supplies: November 5-6
- Northern Supply: November 11-12
- Leonids: November 17-18
- Gemini: December 13-14
- Ursids: December 21-22
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