5 must-see astronomy events in the night sky in July 2019
New Delhi, July 02: The July night sky is a total delight for stargazers, filled with astronomical events, ranging from a total solar eclipse to dueling meteor showers. Sky-watchers will get a chance to see both a lunar and solar eclipse, while stunning planet Saturn will dominate Earth's skies this month.
Here are five astronomy events to watch out for in July
Total Solar Eclipse: July 2
The world is about to witness a total solar eclipse on July 2, which is likely to last a total of four minutes and 33 seconds. The upcoming eclipse will be the sole total solar eclipse to take place this year.
The July 2 solar eclipse is likely to last longer than the two minutes and 40 seconds solar eclipse which happened in August 2017. The solar eclipse will be going through a 6,000-mile path, however, only a narrow zone of the Pacific Ocean and South America comes in the path of totality, according to a report by The Weather Channel.
Saturn Opposition: July 9
Planet Saturn, known as "Lord of the Rings", will be visible at its brightest on July 9 in the sky as it positions itself directly opposite the Sun. An object is said to be at opposition when the Sun is on one side of the Earth and the object is directly on the opposite side. The result is that the object is fully illuminated by the Sun and appears disk-like.
The planet will be shining like a brilliant, creamy colored star in the zodiacal constellation Sagittarius in the low southeast on late evenings.
No telescope is needed to spot Saturn, but peering through the eyepiece of one will reveal the planet's famous rings.
Partial Lunar Eclipse: July 16-17
The partial lunar eclipse will occur on July 16 and will be concluded on July 17. The eclipse will last for three hours and will start at 9:31 pm on July 16 and will end at 3:01 am on July 17. This will not be a total lunar eclipse but will be a partial lunar eclipse. The Chandra Grahan will be visible in India. However, before the lunar eclipse, a total solar eclipse will be taking place on July 2 but will not be visible in India.
Dueling meteor showers July 29-30
The month of July will feature a pair of meteor showers that will peak on the same night: the Southern Delta Aquarids and the Alpha Capricornids.
The two showers will peak on the night of July 29 into the early morning hours of July 30, bringing a combined total of around 20 to 25 meteors per hour, according to the American Meteor Society.
Sky-gazers should also be able to see the glow of the Milky Way as it will occur two days ahead of a new moon.
Black Moon: July 31
July 31 will feature a Black Moon. However, contrary to its name, the moon will not appear black. It is actually the second new moon in a calendar month, similar to how a Blue Moon is the name given to the second full moon in a calendar month.
There is no definite explanation for black moon, For some it refers to the fourth new moon in a season (normally a season only features three). To others, it's used to describe a month in which there's no new moon at all, which is both rare and confusing. Most frequently, however, a black moon means the second new moon to occur in a month and that's the case in July 2019.