China’s lunar probe changes orbit to land on dark side of moon

02 January, 2019, 20:08 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • China probe readies to land on dark side of the Moon

On the other hand, Wolf Moon is a nickname for a full moon that appears in the middle of winter. What makes this lunar eclipse even more special, this is last total lunar eclipse until May 26, 2021.

Unfortunately for those of us in North America, we won't be experiencing this solar eclipse either, but it will be visible over parts of South America, specifically Chile and Argentina. Human eyes will be able to best watch the mega celestial event in central Chile and Argentina.

When the Moon comes within 10 per cent of its closest possible distance to Earth (the perigee), it's classed as a Supermoon.

"This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Flower Moon, because this was the time of year when spring flowers appeared in abundance", The Sky says on its website.

But that's not the only thing that will make this eclipse stand out.

China landed its Yutu, or "Jade Rabbit" rover on the moon five years ago and plans to send its Chang'e 5 probe there this year and have it return to Earth with samples - the first time that will have been done since 1976.

Millions of people across North and South America and portions of Western Europe and Africa will be able to catch the rare sight overnight on January 20 into January 21, according to National Geographic. What makes 2019's shower spectacular is the new moon two days prior to the peak of the meteor shower - on May 4, 2019 - implying a darker sky on May 6. The transit will begin at 7:34 a.m. ET (6:04 pm IST) - likely to last around six hours.


The eclipse is likely to last nearly 3 and a half hours, starting at 3:34 Universal Time and ending at 6:51 UT.

In a spectacle for skywatchers in Europe, Africa, and (before dawn on July 17th) southern Asia and Australia, the full moon will dive about two-thirds of the way into Earth's umbral shadow, according to the Sky & Telescope report.

If you were hoping to catch a glimpse of the eclipse, don't get your hopes up too high because the phenomenon will unfortunately happen around 8:42 p.m.

Mercury, the smallest planet in our solar system, passes between Earth and the sun about 13 times a century. The previous lunar eclipse took place on July 27 a year ago.

Stargazers are in for a real treat this January with an astounding Super Blood Moon eclipse.

2019 closes on a high note with a rare and glorious "ring of fire".

Other stunning occasions to look out for one year from now incorporate a trio of supermoons on January 20/21, February 19, and March 21; the Eta Aquarids meteor shower on May 6/7; and an uncommon aggregate sun oriented overshadowing on July 2.

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