Heavenly bodies: Out of this world happenings in 2012

Heavenly bodies: Out of this world happenings in 2012

Summary: Geek out with eclipses, meteor showers and robotic machines landing on Mars. Check out what is happening across the skies in 2012.

TOPICS: Nasa / Space

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  • Take a tour around the skies and look out for these celestial happenings throughout 2012.  Some of these can be seen by the naked eye, or binoculars.  Optics Geeks might like to get themselves a telescope to see distant objects more clearly.

    In April, Saturn will be in opposition.  Saturn, the gas giant is the sixth planet from the sun and the second largest planet in the solar system after Jupiter.

    This is the only planet in our solar system with a clearly detectable set of nine rings. These rings consist of ice particles and rocky debris and reflect the sunlight. There are also moons and hundreds of 'moonlets' orbiting the planet.


    Credit: NASA

  • The Lyrids meteor shower is located in the constellation of Lyra with an average of around 10 meteors per hour. Lyrid fireballs can cast shadows for a split second, then leave behind smoky debris which lasts for a few minutes. Look close to Vega after midnight.


    Credit: NASA

  • The Eta Aqarids appear in the constellation Aquarius and are thought to be associated with Halley's comet. At its peak you might see one meteor per minute, best viewed in dark skies when the moon is new, pre-dawn.


    Credit: NASA



Topic: Nasa / Space

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  • OMG Uranus !

    You appear to be on a major mission to thoroughly waste all of our lives on your ridiculous Slide Shows. Let's get back to responsible photo-journalism PLEASE.