Though we may not feel it, but each and every planet in our solar system is moving. And that includes our earth. This change in position of planets, the presence of gravitational force and existence of various other comets and stars, results into some of the rarest and most amazing astronomical events. While most of these events are not visible through naked eyes, some of them are and they occur once in a century. Here are 7 such unique astronomical events that we can witness with our own eyes.
#7 Halley’s Comet
This periodic comet orbits around the sun in every 75 years. This comet was discovered in the year 1531 by astronomer Edmund Halley and the comet has received it’s name from this astronomer. Reflection from the sun illuminates this comet while it orbits around it, thus making it visible to the naked eyes. Halley’s Comet is made up of ice particles and its length is 9 miles and width is 5 miles. It was last seen in 1986 and it will be again seen in 2061.
#6 Leonid Meteor Storm
This rare astronomical phenomenon occurs when earth passes through the orbit of comet Tempel-Tuttle. This comet orbits the sun once in every 33 years. Observers can notice around 1000 meteors per hour showering during this storm. It lasts for about fifteen minutes. This rare event was first noticed in 1833.
#5 Planetary Alignment
This kind of a possibility where 3 or more planets will align together is a very rare occurrence. Space scientists have made an assumption and estimated that in the year 2040 a very rare alignment caused by Mercury, Venus, mars, Jupiter, Saturn and moon will occur. In 2000, Mars, Venus, Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter formed an alignment. Another triangular alignment was formed in 2011 by Jupiter, Mercury and Venus.
#4 Great White Thunder storm
For every 30 earth years, a huge storm occurs in the northern hemisphere of Saturn. This is one of the rarest astronomical events and is called the Great White Thunder Storm. This ammonia rich cloud formation is accompanied by lightning and thunder. This phenomenon can be seen from earth as a “big white spot”. The cloud formation has a diameter equal to almost half of earth’s diameter.
#3 Venus Transition
During this rare celestial events, Venus comes in between Earth and Sun and Venus can be seen from Earth as a black disc against the shape of the sun. This event repeats after every 8 years. The last time this event occurred was in the year 2012.
#2 Blue Moon
For every two years, it happens that two full moon days occur in the same calendar year. It is possible to see a blue moon if coloring particles are present in the atmosphere. Krakatoa volcano in Indonesia once exploded in 1883 and released dense gas and ash particles. This in turn made the full moon appear blue which was a treat to the eyes.
#1 Mercury Transition
Mercury comes in between the Sun and the Earth and when that happens one can see Mercury as a black disk against the Sun. This is called Mercury transition. This happens at least 14 times in a century. This happened very recently on May 9, 2016. It is dangerous if seen with naked eyes but it is possible to view this phenomenon filtered through a telescope. The next mercury transition will occur on November 11, 2019, and then on November 13, 2032.
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