PICS: Lunar eclipse over SA + 6 meteor showers to look out for

2017-08-08 07:23 -
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Cape Town -If you happened to spot the moon on Monday evening, 7 August then you would have caught the partial lunar eclipse.

It was mostly visible over the eastern parts of the South Africa.

According to the South African Weather Service it was especially noticeable on Eastern Cape's coastal areas - with the partial eclipse taking place between 19:30 and 21:15.

A lunar eclipse happens when the Moon passes directly behind the Earth into its umbra.

This phenomenon can only taking place when the sun, Earth, and moon are aligned exactly, with the Earth in the middle.

As a result a number of stunning images were shared to social media. Take a look. 

And if you're really wanting to catch something stellar in our night skies, then you have the following six meteor showers to look forward to.

Until mid-August, there are six not-to-be-missed showers to add to your diary - from shooting stars to raining yellow hues in the sky - it's time to look up.  According to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke  - the most popular meteor shower is know as the 'Perseid Meteor'. Unfortunately due to a 'gibbous moon' the peak of this meteor shower will be 'clouded. 

This is a chance to focus on the 'minor meteor showers that peak during late July to mid August. 

Look up! 6 Meteor showers to watch

According to - the minor meteor showers radiant will peak in the Southern park of the sky from midnight till 04:00 am at altitudes ranging from 15 - 30 degrees above the horizon. The radiant is understood as the point in the sky from which the meteor originates. 

Meteor showers are unpredictable - as estimated numbers indicated in the list provided may differ during occurrence. The number of meteors one can see in an hour is dependent on the sky conditions and the level of radiant.

The lower the radiant, the fewer number of meteors can be seen. 

For those with a keen interest in the universe READ: The space' travellers guide to exploring the universe

Perseids meteor shower captured in 2016.

Care to travel in Space? READ: Space Tourism: 3 Exciting developments as SpaceX moon tourists confirmed

Minor Meteors

1. Capricornids 

Date active: 10 July - 15 August 2017

Viewing: Slight interference from the moon at start of August. Sporadic fall - few meteors per hour. 

2. Delta Aquarids

Date active: 15 July - 15 August 2017

Viewing: Meteor is coming from two radiants - meaning two different meteor showers will occur. Favorable conditions at 02:30 am.

3. Piscis Austrinids

Date active: 15 July - 20 August 2017

Viewing: Favorable conditions during the morning - 8 meteors visible per hour in the Southern Hemisphere

4. Alpha Capricornids 

Date active: 15 July - 25 August 2017

Viewing: Radiant is the Capricorious constellation in the South South-West. Described as 'fireball' yellow and bright meteors - clear to see. 

All three meteor showers are known as the 'trio shower' and can be viewed from the Southern and Northern hemisphere. 

5. Iota Aquarids 

Date active: 15 July - 25 August 2017

Viewing: It is a two radiant shower - reaching the highest point at 6 meteors per hour. 

6. Perseids

Date active: 25 July - 15 August 2017

Viewing: On 12 August the meteor shower will be interfered by the 'gibbous moon' according to From the mid evening hours till 06:00 am - the maximum number of meteors can be seen when the sky is at its darkest. This is the biggest meteor shower and is said to be the brightest in 2017. 


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