UNITED STATES — The new year is ringing in several astronomy events that will be visible for many people across the country.
2019 features three supermoons, multiple meteor showers, a blue moon and a rare celestial alignment that won’t occur again until the 2030s, according to AccuWeather.
Super blood moon eclipse
What is predicted to be the most-viewed astronomy event of the year is expected to take place on the night of January 20 and into the early hours of January 21.
The super blood moon eclipse will be the only total lunar eclipse of 2019 and will be visible in all of North and South Americas, as well as parts of Europe and Africa.
As the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow it will reportedly turn orange to deep red in color.
The entire eclipse is expected to last between 9:48 p.m. and 2:48 a.m. EST. The total phase of the eclipse, however, will reportedly be at its peak for just over on hour between 11:41 p.m. and 12:43 a.m. EST.
The next total lunar eclipse visible anywhere in the world won’t occur again until May 26, 2021.
Eta Aquarid meteor shower
The best meteor shower of 2019 is expected to peak this spring, May 6-7.
Officials at NASA said this occurs as Earth passes through debris from Halley’s Comet. Cosmic bits reportedly burn up in Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in an annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower.
Viewers in the northern hemisphere will see showers with up to 30 meteors per hour, whereas those in the southern hemisphere will see showers with up to 60 meteors per hour.
Total solar eclipse
The first total solar eclipse since 2017 is set to take place July 2.
Most of the eclipse will take place over the Pacific Ocean, however it will be visible in parts of Chile and Argentina.
The moon will completely block out the sun in this small area called the path of totality.
Perseids meteor shower
The Perseid meteor shower will peak next year the night of August 12 and into the early morning of August 13.
However, the Perseid meteor shower reportedly won’t be the best for showing next summer because it falls right before a full moon, however onlookers should still be able to see plenty of shooting stars.
Mercury tracks across face of the Sun
A rare planetary alignment that won’t occur again until 2032 will take place on November 11 when Mercury tracks across the face of the sun.
This alignment will be visible across most of the globe, but only with the proper equipment.
Typically Mercury is a difficult planet to locate in the sky due to its close proximity to the Sun, however as it passes directly between the Earth and the Sun in November it will appear as a small black dot on the Sun’s surface.
AccuWeather reiterates that it is very important for onlookers to use a solar filter when viewing the Sun during this transit because looking at the Sun without proper protection can cause permanent eye damage.
They say anyone with solar filter glasses left over from the Great American Eclipse in 2017 can use them for this rare event, as long as the glasses are not damaged.