Summer’s in full swing, which means Orlando Science Center is open later on weekends, and it’s finally Space Exploration Month! It’s the perfect time to see some awe-inspiring spectacles in the sky. Check out our list of astronomical events this summer, most of which you’ll be able to observe right here in Central Florida!
July 15: Moon Meets Venus
At sunset, look to the southwestern sky for a thin crescent moon appearing very close to the planet Venus.
July 27: Deep Total Lunar Eclipse
If you happen to find yourself in South America, Asia, Europe, Australia or Africa on July 27, you’ll be in a prime location to view the deep total lunar eclipse. The moon will go dark and the eclipse will be visible for half a day. Lunar eclipses are actually common occurrences, so don’t be upset if you miss this one!
July 27-31: Mars
Plan a night at the Science Center on Friday, July 27 or Saturday, July 28 because Mars will be at its best! The red planet will be especially close to Earth and look like a super bright orange star in the southern sky. Mars will come within 35.8 million miles of us on July 31, making it the biggest and brightest it’s been since 2003, and it won’t be this close to us again until 2035.
You’ll be able to see the planet with your naked eye, but you’ll have even better views if you use a telescope. Enjoy Mars at home, or in the observatory during Science After Sundown at OSC!
August 11: Partial Solar Eclipse
Set your alarms early to see a partial solar eclipse. This will be most predominant through northern regions of North America and Europe, along with Greenland, Iceland and Asia. A partial solar eclipse is when the sun, moon and Earth are not quite lined up, but the moon will cast the outer part of its shadow on the Earth and cover a small part of the Sun.
This eclipse will be visible in Florida from about 4 a.m. to about 7:30 a.m., with its peak around 5:45 a.m.
August 12-13: Perseid Meteor Shower
Make a wish on one of many shooting stars during the Perseid meteor shower this August, which is considered the most intense annual meteor shower! The Perseid meteor shower can generate over 60 shooting stars in an hour in the sky at their peak. Luckily, this year will be especially incredible since the sky will be moonless, making it really dark and the perfect opportunity to see the sky filled with shooting stars. You’ll be able to view this spectacle all night Sunday, August 12 into the early morning of Monday, August 13!
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