The year will have a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse visible here in Brazil, in addition to several meteor showers. Learn how to observe
The year has already begun with a special celestial spectacle: a supermoon (an event that occurs when the Moon is at the point of its closest trajectory to the Earth and looks much larger and brighter than normal) appeared in the sky all over Brazil at night of January 1st. Unfortunately, this was the only phenomenon of the type we will have in 2018 . But besides him, other astronomical events observable are expected by the end of the year, including eclipses solar and lunar and meteor showers .
Check out the calendar with the main celestial spectacles of 2018 and how to observe them:
The first eclipse of the year observable here in Brazil is predicted for February 15 and should be visible in some cities in the south of the country, according to estimates of the Valongo Observatory, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). It will be a partial eclipse of the Sun (when the star is partly obscured by the moon’s shadow, forming a luminous half moon in the sky), which can also be seen in Antarctica and the rest of South America, especially in Chile and Argentina. Other phenomena of this type are expected to occur on July 13, observable only in Australia and part of Antarctica, and on August 11, visible in the far north of Canada and Russia, in Scandinavia and western China.
Of the lunar eclipses, the highlight is for the partial eclipse of the Moon (when the satellite is only partially obscured by the earth’s shadow), which is scheduled for July 27 and can be seen throughout the national territory. In other parts of the globe, such as Africa, Asia and southern Europe, the phenomenon will be total. Another lunar eclipse is also scheduled for January 31 in Oceania, North America, Russia and China, but it will not be visible in Brazil.
To follow these phenomena, it is important to pay attention to astronomer recommendations. Lunar eclipses can be observed with the naked eye – however, solar eclipses need special protection. Otherwise, they may compromise the observer’s vision. The options are to import an astronomical filter (which is not marketed in Brazil) or buy a tone mask. 14. Ordinary glasses, binoculars or telescopes should not be used for this purpose because they are instruments that concentrate the sun’s rays and can cause severe vision impairment. Also, X-ray film or photographic films should not be used as a protection.
Some good meteor showers are scheduled for 2018. The first, known as Liridas, is expected to take place between April 16 and 25, with a peak forecast for the 22nd. Even so, the highlights are the Perseids, due to take place between July 17 and August 24, and the Geminids, which run from 4 to 17 December. In the first, a rate of up to 150 meteors observed per hour is expected, considering that the radiant (apparent place of origin of the meteors) is exactly at the highest point of the sky. In the second, this rate is 120 meteors.
Other expected meteor showers are Eta Aquaridas (from April 19 to May 28), Delta Aquaridas (from July 12 to August 23), Oronidas (from October 2 to November 7) and Leonidas (from 6 to 30th of November).
To make a good observation of these phenomena, it is advisable to always look for a horizon free of obstacles, such as buildings and buildings. “For those who live in large urban centers, the lights can get in the way. The tip is to look for a place far away, with the darkest possible sky, to be able to see the meteors well “, says the astronomer Daniel Mello, of the Valongo Observatory. Also it is not necessary to use binoculars, telescopes or other instruments. “The best way to observe is with the naked eye. Meteors do not appear in a single place in the sky, so it’s good to have a wide field of view.