Asia-Pacific gets best seats for cosmic double-bill

June 3, 2012

Astronomers this week are poised for a double show of rare events but skywatchers in the Pacific and East Asia will have the best view, experts say.

Monday will see the first partial lunar eclipse of the year, when Earth slides between the Moon and the Sun, casting a grey shadow over its satellite.

The event runs from 0848 to 1318 GMT, according to NASA expert Fred Espenak ( eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OH2012.html#LE2012Jun04P ).

At the greatest point of the eclipse (1103 GMT), the southern part of the Moon will seem as if a small bite has been taken out of it.

Weather permitting, most of Australia, all of New Zealand, the nations of the South Pacific and will see all of the eclipse, and Southeast Asia, Eastern China, Japan and Korea will get most of it.

It will not be visible in Europe or Africa, but people in western North America and Mexico will see it at the end stages when the sets.

On Tuesday, North America will get to see the early stage of the of Venus, one of the most eagerly awaited events in the astronomical calendar.

It occurs when Venus passes between Earth and the Sun, appearing under magnification as a small black dot that trots across the solar face.

The next transit will not take place until 2117.

Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific, Japan and Korea, as well as most of China and much of , will be able to see the entire transit, lasting six hours, 40 minutes, in what will be Wednesday morning their time.

South Asia, the Middle East and Europe will get the end part, when they enter sunrise on Wednesday.

IMPORTANT: Anyone viewing the transit should use approved solar filters to prevent damage to the eyes.

Further details on timing and background information:

- www.transitofvenus.com.au/HOME.html (Australia)

- http://.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/transit12.html

- www..org.uk

- venustransit.nasa.gov/transitofvenus/

Explore further: Total lunar eclipse set for Africa, Middle East, C. Asia

Related Stories

Southern hemisphere to glimpse year's last solar eclipse

November 24, 2011

The tip of South Africa, Tasmania and most of New Zealand will -- weather permitting -- enjoy a partial eclipse of the Sun on Friday although the handful of hardy scientists in Antarctica will get the best view, according ...

Partial lunar eclipse visible in western skies

June 27, 2010

(AP) -- Skygazers got a treat Saturday when a portion of the moon crossed into the Earth's shadow during a partial lunar eclipse visible in the western United States and Canada, the Pacific and eastern Asia.

Partial eclipse of the Strawberry Moon

May 29, 2012

On June 4th, 2012, there's going to be a full Moon.  According to Native American folklore it’s the Strawberry Moon, so-called because the short season for harvesting strawberries comes during the month of June.

Recommended for you

Freeze-dried food and 1 bathroom: 6 simulate Mars in dome

January 20, 2017

Crammed into a dome with one bathroom, six scientists will spend eight months munching on mostly freeze-dried foods—with a rare treat of Spam—and have only their small sleeping quarters to retreat to for solace.

Image: Wavemaker moon Daphnis

January 20, 2017

The wavemaker moon, Daphnis, is featured in this view, taken as NASA's Cassini spacecraft made one of its ring-grazing passes over the outer edges of Saturn's rings on Jan. 16, 2017. This is the closest view of the small ...

Video: A colorful 'landing' on Pluto

January 20, 2017

What would it be like to actually land on Pluto? This movie was made from more than 100 images taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft over six weeks of approach and close flyby in the summer of 2015. The video offers a trip ...

The evolution of massive galaxy clusters

January 20, 2017

Galaxy clusters have long been recognized as important laboratories for the study of galaxy formation and evolution. The advent of the new generation of millimeter and submillimeter wave survey telescopes, like the South ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.