On the Coming Lunar Eclipse July 5

Lunar Eclipse In Capricorn: Clearing Old Blockages

We are having a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn on July 5th in most of the world, and on the night of July 4th in the Americas. Similarly to the Full Moon that occurred a month prior, it will be a penumbral eclipse which only has a subtle shade on the Moon. It will be visible (weather permitting) wherever it will be nighttime in part or all of its duration. This includes most of North America, most of Africa, Western Europe, parts of Central Europe, New Zealand, and all of South America.

This is the third of three eclipses occurring back to back, with this one following a more powerful annular Solar Eclipse in Cancer during the recent Solstice and a penumbral Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on June 5th. This one is also the last of a series of Eclipses occurring in the Cancer-Capricorn axis which began in 2018. This specific eclipse season marks the transition into the Gemini-Sagittarius polarity.

Eclipses reflect evolutionary changes in specific areas of our lives which can play out over the following 6 months and can begin up to 6 weeks prior. However, they are also part of a 1.5-2 year process in which the Lunar Nodes and most Eclipses are in the same signs. The changes that occur are connected to the sign they are in, the planets they are configured to, and how this all lines up with our individual astrological blueprint.

Lunar Eclipse In Capricorn

This eclipse is the final one of a process in which we have been experiencing a collective recalibration in how Cancer and Capricorn energies are expressed. This slightly began in summer of 2018  but kicked in more strongly later that year and in 2019.

This eclipse puts an emphasis on Capricorn themes as it is near the South Node which has recently entered Sagittarius. This indicates changes associated with Capricorn that can have a decreasing effect in how its energies are expressed, however, negative expressions of this sign can also come up more so to bring it to our attention.

The shifts that could occur, both challenges and developments, are more about changes or what we need to let go of, in relation to the energies of Capricorn to help facilitate a different balance with Cancer. Capricorn energies and aspects of life can be more constructive when they are expressed towards a Cancerian focal point. The areas of life in which it manifests also depends on how it is interacting with your natal astrology chart/blueprint.

Capricorn is the sign of ambition, career, duty, business, achievement, responsibility, discipline, mastery, and authority. It can be calculated, strategic, practical, orderly, conservative, realistic, authoritative, controlling, cautious, and worldly. It is a social climber and concerned with status.  It is also associated with governing and banking structures with this eclipse opposing the Sun of the United States, similarly to 1982 and 2001 in the months before 9/11.

Negatively, Capricorn energy can be serious, cynical, cold, unrelenting, and seek power over others. It can be overly focused on work and/or materialism while creating an imbalance with emotional, personal and domestic areas of life which is where the focal point has been considering previous North Node eclipses in Cancer.

Lunar Eclipse Near Jupiter-Pluto Conjunction 

Now and in recent weeks, Jupiter and Pluto (also in Capricorn) are in their second exact conjunction of 2020 which is strong until July 10th, but gets triggered by the Sun from July 13th-16th. However, this energy is a part of the backdrop until late in the year with this eclipse highlighting it as well.

As mentioned in previous articles, this energy can be revealing of hidden matters or perhaps issues connected to abuse, control, manipulation, obsessions, shadows, or power dynamics. However, it can also be a time of acquiring deeper perspectives and can have transformational potential as well. Considering that this is a South Node eclipse, it can be a time of releasing or changing negative qualities of this energy.

Saturn, the ruler of Capricorn, is not too far from these planets in the same sign. The combination of the three  (especially Saturn-Pluto) in close proximity reflects the heavy energy of 2020. Saturn brings a level of seriousness and minimizes the expansiveness of Jupiter with restrictions and limitations, especially as Saturn rules the sign that they are both in.

Lunar Eclipse Square Mars-Chiron, Trine Uranus, and Sextile Neptune

Mars in Aries is approaching Chiron which will be exact around July 13th and 14th. This is also in a T-square with the Full Moon Eclipse (and Mercury Retrograde) carrying its themes for an extended period. This reflects similar energy in the lunations of previous months.

Mars’ conjunction with Chiron (configured to the eclipse) can reflect action and assertiveness that is healing, integrating, bridging, whole-istic, unorthodox, and addressing wounds. With it being in Aries, it could be connected to identity, individualism, or  individuality. It can also be about addressing negative expressions of Mars such as anger, aggression, or abuse.

The square to Mars can play out as conflicts, competitiveness, and intensity. We have already been seeing this on a collective level as the eclipse a month prior was also in a square with Mars. In the following 5-6 month window of this current eclipse season, Mars will be going retrograde which reinforces the energy of these Mars flavoured eclipses.

This eclipse is in a trine with Uranus in Taurus which can be innovative, inspiring, original, revolutionary, rebellious, and good for shaking things up. It is also in a sextile with Neptune, although this isn’t too strong, it can be supportive in a compassionate, creative, spiritual, or idealistic way.

Mercury Retrograde, Venus in Post-Retrograde Shadow

Mercury has been retrograde since mid-June and will be going direct a week following this eclipse. It is in Cancer reflecting a time of adjustments and re-orientations around home/domestic life, family, security, land/property, emotional comforts, caregiving, and emotional connections with others. As it begins to move forward in the days after July 12th and over the following weeks, we may see that we are proceeding in an adjusted way around Cancerian matters or developments that have come up since early June.

Venus ended its retrograde on June 25th and we are now in a time in which we are progressing differently around Venus ruled areas that have been playing out since the first half of April.  It can be connected to relationships, love, values, social dynamics, desires, worth, aesthetics, art, or perhaps financial matters.

Things To Consider

What have been some of the major themes for you over the past 1.5 years and what are they leading you towards? What area(s) of life do you need to let go of negative ways of expression? differently? What aspects of your ambitions do you need to release? Where should you be applying yourself in a healing way? Are there fragmented parts of your life that should be integrated to bring more harmony into your life? How can you achieve this?

These are just some examples of what can be playing out for you but not limited to these either. Keep in mind that the themes of this specific eclipse will play out until the Fall. It is best to try to tune into this energy as it happens and pay attention to your feelings to help you in decisions you need to make in the future.



The two weeks following this eclipse can be a good time to initiate any sort of releasing process if you feel necessary. The eclipse begins at 3:07am Universal Time on July 5th with it peaking at 4:30am and finishing at 5:52am. The Moon begins to wane after 4:44am GMT. You can click here to see when the peak will be in your time zone.

from:    https://www.collective-evolution.com/2020/07/04/lunar-eclipse-in-capricorn/

On the Upcoming Eclipse

Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse: Hope for Wisdom, Prepare for War

June 3rd, 2020

By Nikki Harper

Staff Writer for Wake Up World

Friday sees the first lunar eclipse in Sagittarius since the eclipse cycle of 2010-13 – and it looks like this new eclipse cycle might turn out to be a bumpy ride.

For a start, the eclipse is locked into a tight square with a highly passive aggressive, overly sensitive, emotionally volatile Mars in Pisces. It’s also opposite Venus retrograde, hindering the expression of genuine emotion and loving kindness. This combination of a Moon-Mars square and a Moon-retrograde Venus opposition do not bode at all well for interpersonal relationships. There’s a huge amount of anger in this energy, coupled with bitterness, resentment and perhaps jealousy too.

Lunar eclipses tend to clear the path towards something our souls need to learn, but they often do so with major accompanying drama, tears and upset. This eclipse energy may test even the most stable and loving of relationships; for a struggling relationship, the tension may just be too much.

On a geopolitical scale, both Mars and Venus retrograde are traditionally considered portents of war, so for them to be tightly involved with a lunar eclipse is pause for thought indeed. We are already seeing wide scale social anger, whether connected to the covid-19 epidemic, or connected to racial, economic and social injustice – this lunar eclipse suggests that this anger is not likely to simmer down any time soon. There are also hints of earthquakes or other geophysical upheaval connected to this energy.

Interestingly, the lunar eclipse occurs at 15 degrees Sagittarius, just one degree away from the mysterious ‘Great Attractor’ – a gravitational anomaly which, for reasons science can’t yet explain, appears to be pulling our galactic neighbourhood towards it. The Great Attractor lies at 14 degrees Sagittarius; the symbolism of its mysterious pull or hold over us is not lost in this eclipse, which exudes Sagittarian mystery energy as we collectively seek an elusive truth – but whose truth? My truth or your truth? What if there is more than one truth? What if the powers that be in today’s modern world are experts in manipulating ‘the truth’? Is this how wars start?

Sagittarius energy in its purest form is about wisdom and justice. Tumultuous events around this lunar eclipse should help to clear the way towards a greater understanding of wisdom and justice, but the path to reach that desirable end point may be troubled indeed. We can hope for wisdom, but we should also prepare, metaphorically at least, for war, both in our public and private lives. The two weeks between now and the solar eclipse on June 21st will be critical.


New religious or cultural experiences are opening your mind – but you may not be comfortable with that. You may be stuck in a process of denial, attempting to hold onto the status quo, but this lunar eclipse demonstrates that you must make a leap of faith or be left behind. It’s OK to have been wrong; what matters is that you are big enough now to acknowledge your mistakes and to adjust your thinking. You could lead the way towards a better understanding across cultures, communities and backgrounds, but to do so, you must first relinquish your need to be right and your need to ‘win’.


Something you’ve been clinging to, whether it’s a person or a project, is about to be removed. This will be upsetting, for sure, but in your heart, you’ve seen this coming. Whether it’s a relationship breakdown or the ending of a cherished idea, you will need some time to pick yourself up, dust yourself down and face the world afresh. What you lose will be more than made up for by the potential which is heading your way, but it might not feel that way at first. Understand that life goes in cycles. You will be back on the up again soon.


This eclipse is a turning point for a close relationship. If you are truly in love, and you believe it’s worth keeping and fighting for, then do that. Put in the work and heal your love life. If, on the other hand, you are not being treated well, then make a conscious choice to walk away with your head held high. Struggling on and pretending it’s not happening is no longer an option. If your relationship is settled and happy, you can easily ride out this bump, but in that case look for the ‘make or break’ effect in a different close partnership or interpersonal relationship. Something has to give.


Events around this lunar eclipse may throw your daily life into chaos for a while – never a lot of fun. However, this disruption to your routines is a blessing in disguise. Under the cover of chaos, you can start to work out what you want to keep and what you want to discard from your daily arena. When you emerge from the chaos, things will be very different, but you have a great deal of say over how different and in what way. It’s important to seize what looks like a problem at this time and turn it into an opportunity to clear the decks.


A compulsive desire to take risks surfaces for you during this lunar eclipse – especially risks involving love or money. Or both! You need to walk a fine line here, between getting an adrenaline rush versus getting run over by the consequences of your risk. Stay away from gambling, and don’t take chances with a relationship you value too much to lose. You do have some issues to work through here, regarding spontaneity and a quest for fun and enjoyment, but if you allow this eclipse energy to push you too far into recklessness, the lessons you’ll learn will be painful indeed.


Childhood trauma may resurface during this eclipse energy, particularly if you have suffered abuse of any kind. The struggle to get your truth heard may be very painful, but help is available to you if you ask for it. There’s also a focus on your current home and family, and you may be suffering from itchy feet and a strong desire to move home. Hold of on any major decisions until the eclipse energies have settled, because all is not quite what it seems here. Impulsive moves regarding major legal contracts are not, repeat not, a good thing right now.


For you, seeking wisdom during this eclipse may be quite a literal theme. Your plans to go back to school may be disrupted, or you may suddenly discover that you need extra qualifications or that you have to study for something, even if you don’t really want to. You’re being asked to make a distinction between facts and wisdom. ‘Knowing things’ is not wisdom in itself; wisdom is the skilful application of what you know. Don’t become complacent over your level of education; instead, seek to expand your mind and to gain true wisdom and insight.


Your ethics are in question during this lunar eclipse; if you have done something shady, you can expect to be found out. The eclipse also impacts your financial zone, and may bring unwelcome financial news. The key to handling this is to not panic. You will survive. Avoid going into unnecessary debt; avoid working yourself to exhaustion. Learn to be grateful for what you do have, not to be resentful over what you do not have. Fostering gratitude for life will help you to absorb any shocks this eclipse has in store, and will also put you in better touch with your divine self.


Think back to the 2010-2013 period. Something was going on in your life at that time which taught you a great deal – but now it’s time to re-visit that lesson. Your sign always seeks wisdom and truth, but you are kidding yourself over one particular issue, preferring to lie to yourself instead of facing reality. This eclipse cycle will show you the worst of what happens if you deceive yourself or others – but it can also show you the magic of self-belief and the divinity of honesty. Set your sail towards truth and be ruthless in pursuing it, even – especially – within yourself.


Your empathy and compassion are laudable, but during this eclipse you may be shown the folly of having a ‘saviour mentality’. Look to your own motives when you’re trying to help others. There’s more going on here than just you doing good deeds; it speaks to a fundamental part of your character and your need to be liked, admired and seen as a success. The eclipse is here to teach you humility; to learn this lesson, you need to listen to your higher consciousness and to stop caring so much about what others think of you.


Your sign has always battled a need to belong on the one hand versus a need to be independent on the other hand. The lunar eclipse shatters your illusions about the need to fit in, and frees you to be the different, unique soul you are. It’s time to stop trying to change the system from within the system. It’s not going to work. Step outside, learn about the greater concepts of reality, and discover the power of manifestation. The price of real change is that people may not like you for it; is that a price you’re willing to pay?


This lunar eclipse rocks your understanding of power – both the power you personally have and the power you as a citizen have delegated to your elected representatives. Neither your personal power nor the collective political power is serving you well right now. The eclipse teaches you, however, that you are never powerless. You always have your own personal integrity, and your freedom of choice. How you deal with your current crisis will be telling; others may be calling the shots and circumstances may be beyond your control, but you always, always have a choice over how to react.

About the author:

Nikki Harper is a spiritualist writer, astrologer, and editor for Wake Up World.

from:    https://wakeup-world.com/2020/06/03/sagittarius-lunar-eclipse-hope-for-wisdom-prepare-for-war/

Upcoming Eclipses

Get Ready Because There Will Be Both A Solar and Lunar Eclipse In June

(TMU) –  Thus far, 2020 has been filled with notable astronomical events, and there’s plenty still to come. We had three Super Moons in a row, starting with March’s Full Worm Moon, April’s Full Pink Moon, and, as we reported, May’s peak of the ‘Eta Aquarids’ Meteor Shower just days before the Full Flower Moon.

We’re not even halfway through the year and there’s plenty more in store for all sky watchers, starting with a partial Penumbral Lunar Eclipse on June 5th and 6th and an Annular Solar Eclipse on June 21st.

This year we’ll have a total of six eclipses, four Lunar and two Solar. The Lunar Eclipses will all be partial and the Solar Eclipses will be an Annular Eclipse on June 21st and a Total Eclipse on December 14th.

When the light from one celestial body (such as our Sun or Moon) is blocked by another (Earth or our Moon), an eclipse occurs as the body in between the two casts a shadow on the third body. We only experience two types of eclipses created by the different alignments of the Sun, the Earth and the Moon. When the light of the Sun is obstructed by the Moon we observe a solar eclipse on Earth, and when Earth is aligned between the Sun and the Moon, it casts a shadow on the Moon, creating a lunar eclipse.

When the Moon lies in the penumbral, or outer shadow, of the Earth, we have a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse, such as the one on June 5th and 6th. This occurs when the three celestial bodies are not perfectly aligned. Penumbral Lunar Eclipse are quite subtle as the moon might have be only slightly darker where Earth’s shadow falls.

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse:

June’s Penumbral Lunar Eclipse will visible, weather permitting, from much of Asia and Europe, Australia, Africa, Antarctica and South America’s south west. The eclipse will begin on the 5th of June at UTC 17:45:51, reach its peak at 19:24:55 and end at 19:24:55.

Check the date and time for your city or area

Annular Solar Eclipse:

The Moon will be perfectly aligned between the Sun and Earth for the Annular Solar Eclipse on the 21st of June and as a result will leave the outer ring of the sun visible, also known as the ‘ring of fire’. Annulus (Latin), means ring, the name given to this celestial event.

Always protect your eyes when watching a Solar Eclipse, which should be a special and memorable event, without harming your eyesight. Never look directly at the sun, even during an eclipse, without protective, special-purpose solar filters. These solar filters are used in “eclipse glasses” or in hand-held solar viewers which have to meet a very specific worldwide standard known as ‘ISO 12312-2’. Sunglasses, no matter how dark, will not protect your eyes!

With clear skies, the full Solar eclipse, including the ring of fire, will be visible from parts of Africa including Central Africa Republic, Congo, and Ethiopia, as well as most of North India, South of Pakistan and China.

Partial views of the eclipse will be visible in South/East Europe, much of Asia and Africa, North in Australia and the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

The eclipse will peak at UTC 12:10am on June 21st. The total duration of the eclipse is 3 hours, 18 minutes.

Check the time for your city or area.


from:    https://themindunleashed.com/2020/05/get-ready-because-there-will-be-both-a-solar-and-lunar-eclipse-in-june.html

4/15 Lunar Eclipse – 1st of Tetrad

A Tetrad of Lunar Eclipses

March 27, 2014:  For people in the United States, an extraordinary series of lunar eclipses is about to begin.

The action starts on April 15th when the full Moon passes through the amber shadow of Earth, producing a midnight eclipse visible across North America. So begins a lunar eclipse tetrad—a series of 4 consecutive total eclipses occurring at approximately six month intervals.  The total eclipse of April 15, 2014, will be followed by another on Oct. 8, 2014, and another on April 4, 2015, and another on Sept. 28 2015.

“The most unique thing about the 2014-2015 tetrad is that all of them are visible for all or parts of the USA,” says longtime NASA eclipse expert Fred Espenak.


A new ScienceCast video explains the lunar eclipse tetrad of 2014-2015.  Play it!

On average, lunar eclipses occur about twice a year, but not all of them are total.  There are three types:

A penumbral eclipse is when the Moon passes through the pale outskirts of Earth’s shadow.  It’s so subtle, sky watchers often don’t notice an eclipse is underway.

A partial eclipse is more dramatic.  The Moon dips into the core of Earth’s shadow, but not all the way, so only a fraction of Moon is darkened.

A total eclipse, when the entire Moon is shadowed, is best of all.  The face of the Moon turns sunset-red for up to an hour or more as the eclipse slowly unfolds.

Usually, lunar eclipses come in no particular order. A partial can be followed by a total, followed by a penumbral, and so on.  Anything goes. Occasionally, though, the sequence is more orderly. When four consecutive lunar eclipses are all total, the series is called a tetrad.


Click to view a complete visibility map of the April 15th lunar eclipse.

“During the 21st century, there are 9 sets of tetrads, so I would describe tetrads as a frequent occurrence in the current pattern of lunar eclipses,” says Espenak. “But this has not always been the case. During the three hundred year interval from 1600 to 1900, for instance, there were no tetrads at all.”

The April 15th eclipse begins at 2 AM Eastern time when the edge of the Moon first enters the amber core of Earth’s shadow.  Totality occurs during a 78 minute interval beginning around 3 o’clock in the morning on the east coast, midnight on the west coast.  Weather permitting, the red Moon will be easy to see across the entirety of North America.

Why red?

A quick trip to the Moon provides the answer: Imagine yourself standing on a dusty lunar plain looking up at the sky. Overhead hangs Earth, nightside down, completely hiding the sun behind it. The eclipse is underway.

You might expect Earth seen in this way to be utterly dark, but it’s not. The rim of the planet is on fire! As you scan your eye around Earth’s circumference, you’re seeing every sunrise and every sunset in the world, all of them, all at once. This incredible light beams into the heart of Earth’s shadow, filling it with a coppery glow and transforming the Moon into a great red orb.

Mark your calendar for April 15th and let the tetrad begin.

from:    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/27mar_tetrad/

Sagittarius Luna Eclipse

 Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius: Freedom and Power
Dana Mrkich
a message from Dana Mrkich
Thursday, 23 May, 2013

As our global awakening intensifies, and as our awareness of all kinds of truths increases, it is only natural that any energy that feels threatened by that or has fear around that, also increases. We always see this on a personal level whenever we are ready to jump into a new level in any aspect of our lives. Our inner doubts, fears and any remaining remnants of old patterns flare up in response to our decisions to commit to new actions and pathways.

Energy works the same way whether it’s an inner personal experience, or an outer collective one. So, we are seeing this type of response now on a global level with the sense that the net of control around humanity and human behaviour is feeling more and more like a choking stranglehold. The increase in this type of energy is always a good sign, not a negative one (even though it can feel very unpleasant). It is indicative of the degree to which something is expanding in its nature, the degree to which something has outgrown its old form. The ‘stranglehold’ we are seeing and feeling, is an attempt by those collective aspects of us to retain an illusion of control, to retain a sense that all is ‘business as usual’. This is making people feel more than ever like they have no choice in anything, and no power. Now, more than ever, it is important to look deeper and realise that this ‘stranglehold’ is not a sign we have no choice and no power – it is a fear response to the growing realisation that we DO have choice and we DO have power.

This is not about an ‘us against them’ tug of war. We are all part of the one energy. The collective manifestation of humanity is exactly the same as the inner manifestation of our personal aspects, only amplified. So when we see this stranglehold occurring it is helpful to realise, oh okay, I see what’s happening. That is exactly what my old wounds were trying to do that time I tried to get up the courage to leave my job or change a relationship pattern.

Very often when old issues flare up people get very disheartened that all their inner work has not been working, when in fact it is a clear sign your inner work HAS been working. The intense flaring up of fear is a clear sign that something has shifted on an energy level and is about to quantum leap on a physical level. It is important of course to address the fear response, but at the same time don’t jump in and let it suffocate you into thinking that is the dominant or expanding reality. It is the old reality leaving.

Now is a time to keep holding your focus on the reality you have committed to, and act accordingly in whatever ways you are choosing to do so. This week we have come across some information about an ingredient in certain foods, so we are immediately changing the brand we choose to buy. We all have choice. We can all say no to things, we can say yes to other things. Despite appearances to the contrary, we all have freedom of choice in what we do, say, think, eat, consume, in how we live.

The Lunar Eclipse this Friday night/Saturday depending on your time zone is in Sagittarius. Lunar Eclipses are about letting go (to let in something new) and Sagittarius is the freedom loving adventurer and truth-seeker. So this is a perfect time to let go of any fears or illusions you have that you are not in control of your life and reality, and that the powers that be are tightening the reins more and more every day. You have choice. You have power. You have freedom. Take it, own it, and use it well.

If you are free within yourself no amount of bars and guards can make you feel imprisoned. Likewise if you feel imprisoned within your own mental constraints and self-imposed restrictions, you will not feel free anywhere, not in your home, or workplace or relationship, not in the largest field or widest ocean. – Dana Mrkich, A New Chapter

(c) Dana Mrkich 2013. Permission is granted to share this article freely on the condition that the author is credited, and the URL www.danamrkich.com is included.

from:    http://spiritlibrary.com/dana-mrkich/lunar-eclipse-in-sagittarius-freedom-and-power

Eyes to the Skies in 2012

12 Must-See Skywatching Events in 2012

Joe Rao, SPACE.com Skywatching Columnist
Date: 03 January 2012 Time: 07:40 AM ET


b040602 venustransit 2VS
Venus Transit

As the year 2011 comes to a close, some might wonder what is looming sky-wise for 2012? What celestial events might we look forward to seeing?

I’ve selected what I consider to be the top 12 “skylights” for this coming year, and list them here in chronological order. Not all these events will be visible from any one locality … for the eclipses, for instance, you’ll probably have to do some traveling … but many can be observed from the comfort of your backyard.

Hopefully your local weather will cooperate on most, if not all, of these dates. Clear skies!

This meteor shower reaches its peak in the predawn hours of Jan. 4 for eastern North America. The Quadrantid meteor shower is a very short-lived meteor display, whose peak rates only last several hours. The phase of the moon is a bright waxing gibbous, normally prohibitive for viewing any meteor shower, but the moon will set by 3 a.m., leaving the sky dark for a few hours until the first light of dawn; that’s when you’ll have the best shot at seeing many of these bluish-hued meteors.

From the eastern half of North America, a single observer might count on seeing as many as 50-to-100 “Quads” in a single hour. From the western half of the continent the display will be on the wane by the time the moon sets, with hourly rates probably diminishing to around 25 to 50 meteors.

2012 aquadrantid meteor shower sky map

The first major meteor shower of 2012 takes place on the night of Tuesday, Jan. 3 and the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 4. It peaks at 2 a.m. EST (0700 GMT) on Jan. 4.
CREDIT: Starry Night Software

Feb. 20 to March 12: Best evening apparition of Mercury

In February and March, the “elusive” innermost planet Mercury moves far enough from the glare of the sun to be readily visible soon after sunset. Its appearance will be augmented by two other bright planets (Venus and Jupiter), which also will be visible in the western sky during this same time frame.

Mercury will arrive at its greatest elongation from the sun March 5. It will be quite bright (-1.3-to-0 magnitude) before this date and will fade rapidly to +1.6 magnitude thereafter. Astronomers measure the brightness of objects in terms of magnitude, with lower numbers corresponding to brighter objects.

March 3: Mars arrives at opposition

On March 3, the Earth will be passing Mars as the two planets wheel around the sun in their respective orbits. Because Mars reaches aphelion — its farthest point from the sun — on Feb. 15, this particular opposition will be an unfavorable one. In fact, two days after opposition, Mars will be closest to Earth at a distance of 62.6 million miles.

Compare this with the August 2003 opposition when Mars was only 34.6 million miles away.  Nonetheless, even at this unfavorable opposition the fiery-hued Mars will be an imposing naked-eye sight, shining at magnitude -1.2, just a bit dimmer than Sirius, the brightest star, and will be visible in the sky all night long.

venus moon dec26 truckee jeffrey berkes

Astrophotographer Jeffrey Berkes of West Chester, Pa., snapped this stunning view of planet Venus and the crescent moon during a bright conjunction on Dec. 26, 2011.
CREDIT: Jeffrey Berkes

March 13: Brilliant “double planet”

The two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, team up to make for an eye-catching sight in the western sky soon after sunset. They will be separated by 3 degrees on this evening, Venus passing to the northwest (upper right) of Jupiter and shining nearly eight times brighter than “Big Jupe.” Although they will gradually go their separate ways after this date, on March 25 and 26, a crescent moon will pass by, adding additional beauty to this celestial scene.

May 5: Biggest full moon of 2012

The moon turns full at 11:35 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and just 25 minutes later it will arrive at its closest point to the Earth in 2012, at a distance of 221,801 miles. Expect a large range in ocean tides (exceptionally low to exceptionally high) for the next few days.

May 20: Annular eclipse of the sun

The path of annularity for this eclipse starts over eastern China and sweeps northeast across southern and central Japan. The path continues northeast then east, passing just south of Alaska’s Aleutian Island chain. The path then turns to the southeast, making landfall in the western United States along the California-Oregon coast. It will pass over central Nevada, southern Utah, northern Arizona, the extreme southwest corner of Colorado and most of New Mexico before coming to an end over northern Texas.

Since the disk of the moon will appear smaller than the disk of the sun, it will create a “penny on nickel” effect, with a fiery ring of sunlight shining around the moon’s dark silhouette. Locations that will witness this eerie sight include Eureka and Reading, Calif.; Carson City, Reno and Ely, Nev.; Bryce Canyon in Utah; Arizona’s Grand Canyon; Albuquerque and Santa Fe in New Mexico and just prior to sunset for Lubbock, Tex.

A partial eclipse of the sun will be visible over a large swath of the United States and Canada, including Alaska and Hawaii, but no eclipse will be visible near and along the Atlantic Seaboard.


June 4: Partial eclipse of the moon

This partial lunar eclipse favors the Pacific Ocean; Hawaii sees it high in the sky during the middle of its night. Across North America the eclipse takes place between midnight and dawn. The farther east one goes, the closer the time of moonset coincides with the moment that the moon enters the Earth’s dark umbral shadow.

In fact, over the Northeastern United States and eastern Canada, the only evidence of this eclipse will be a slight shading on the moon’s left edge (the faint penumbral shadow) before moonset. Over the Canadian Maritimes, the moon will set before the eclipse begins. At maximum, more than one-third of the moon’s lower portion (37.6-percent) will be immersed in the umbra.


June 5: Rare transit of Venus across the sun

The passage of Venus in front of the sun is among the rarest of astronomical events, rarer even than the return of Halley’s Comet every 76 years. Only six transits of Venus are known to have been observed by humans before: in 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, 1882 and, most recently, in 2004.

The next one will occur in the year 2117. When Venus is in transit across the solar disk, the planet appears as a distinct, albeit tiny, round black spot with a diameter just 1/32nd of the sun. This size is large enough to readily perceive with the naked eye.  HOWEVER … prospective observers are warned to take special precautions (as with a solar eclipse) when attempting to view the silhouette of Venus against the blindingly brilliant solar disc.

The beginning of the transit will be visible from all of North America, Greenland, extreme northern and western portions of South America, Hawaii, northern and eastern portions of Asia including Japan, New Guinea, northern and eastern portions of Australia, and New Zealand. The end will be visible over Alaska, all of Asia and Indonesia, Australia, Eastern Europe, the eastern third of Africa, and the island nation of Madagascar.

huntsville perseids composi

Perseids composite, seen Aug. 12-13. Concentric circles are star trails.

Aug. 12: Perseid meteor shower

Considered to be among the best of the annual displays thanks to its high rates of up to 90 per hour for a single observer, as well as its reliability. Beloved by summer campers and often discovered by city dwellers who might be spending time in the country under dark starry skies. [10 Perseid Meteor Shower Facts]

Last summer a bright moon wrecked the shower by blotting out many of the fainter streaks, but in 2012 the moon will be three days past last quarter phase on this peak morning – a fat waning crescent presenting only a minor nuisance for prospective observers.


Nov. 13: Total eclipse of the sun

The first total solar eclipse since July 2010. Virtually the entire path of totality falls over water. At the very beginning, the track cuts through Australia’s Northern Territory just to the east of Darwin, then across the Gulf of Carpentaria, then through northern Queensland, passing over Cairns and Port Douglas before heading out to sea.

The rest of the eclipse path, including the point of the maximum duration of totality (4 minutes, 2 seconds) is, unfortunately, pretty much wasted by falling over the open waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Dec. 13-14: Geminid meteor shower

If there is one meteor display guaranteed to put on a very entertaining show it is the Geminid meteor shower. Now considered by most meteor experts to be at the top of the list, surpassing in brilliance and reliability even the August Perseids.

Bundle warmly against the winter chill; you can start observing as soon as darkness falls on the evening of Dec. 13 as Gemini starts coming up above the eastern horizon and continue through the rest of the night. Around 2 a.m. when Gemini is almost directly overhead, you might see as many as two meteor sightings per minute … 120 per hour! And the moon is new, meaning that it will not be a factor at all.

from:    http://www.livescience.com/17706-12-amazing-skywatching-events-2012.html

Upcoming Lunar Eclipse 12/10

Total Lunar Eclipse Visible to North America Saturday

by Geoff Gaherty, Starry Night Education
Date: 06 December 2011 Time: 04:23 PM ET

December 10, 2011, Total Lunar Eclipse Sky Map
The best views of this eclipse in North America will be from the West Coast. Here we see the partially eclipsed moon setting just before dawn as it will appear from Dusy Basin Lake in eastern California.
CREDIT: Starry Night Software

The last eclipse of 2011, a total lunar eclipse, will occur early Saturday morning (Dec. 10). Although best placed for observers in Australia and eastern Asia, part of the eclipse will be visible from the west coast of Canada and the United States.

total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the sun and the moon, casting the moon in shadow. The last such eclipse took place in June 2011.

For observers in North America, this eclipse will happen just before dawn Saturday morning. To see it, stay up late Friday night or get up early Saturday morning. Alaska will see all of the eclipse, British Columbia most of it, the views will decrease as you move south and east from there.

“From roughly Arizona to the Dakotas, the moon sets while it’s still totally eclipsed,” writes Sky & Telescope magazine. “In the Central time zone the moon sets while still only partially eclipsed, before the total stage even begins. And those farther east miss out completely.”

The eclipse will begin at 3:33 a.m. PST, when the faint outer penumbral shadow touches the moon. The eclipse will be obvious by 4:45 a.m., when the dark umbral shadow begins its trip across the moon’s face. The total eclipse phase will start at 6:06 a.m. and last for 51 minutes.

In Sydney, the eclipse will begin at 10:33 p.m. Saturday evening and last most of the night. Totality is from 1:06 a.m. until 1:57 a.m. local time.

It’s difficult to predict in advance how dark any particular lunar eclipse will be. It’s extremely rare for the moon to disappear completely because some sunlight always leaks past the Earth through the twilight zones.

Because this light is coming from countless sunsets on Earth, it is usually tinged reddish in color. If cloud cover on Earth is dense, very little light gets through, and we get a very dark eclipse.

Because this eclipse will be low in the western sky in North America and low in the south in Australia, there should be plenty of photo opportunities.

If you take a photo or video of the eclipse that you’d like to share with SPACE.com for a possible story or gallery, please email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or Clara Moskowitz at cmoskowitz@space.com.

from:    http://www.space.com/13844-total-lunar-eclipse-saturday-dec-10.html