The Planets

Total Lunar Eclipse on May 26, 2021

A total eclipse of the moon can be seen across the globe tonight for the first time in over two years.

The phenomenon will occur when the earth comes between the sun and the moon, blocking the sun’s rays from reaching the moon.

The moon will appear slightly reddish in colour and this is commonly known as a “blood moon”.

The best place to sight the event will be in the Asia Pacific region, which includes Australia.

Click here to read more about the Total Lunar Eclipse on May 26, 2021

The Great Conjunction of Planets – Jupiter and Saturn – December 21st 2020

Saturn and Jupiter dance together by the light of a silvery moon.

A Christmas Star in the west

Another “Christmas Star” will be formed tomorrow night by the “great conjunction” of Jupiter and Saturn, occurring right on the solstice.

On the last solstice of 2020 (Dec. 21), Jupiter and Saturn will appear the closest together in the night sky in four centuries.  In the southern hemisphere, this will be the summer solstice or longest day of the year, and in the northern hemisphere it will be the shortest day or longest night.

This year, the solstice happens simultaneously with a “great conjunction” of Jupiter and Saturn that many will see as another “Christmas star” because of its occurrence four days before Christmas.

Find out how to see the Great Conjunction

Mars Exploration 2020 Launch

On 29th July 2020, NASA will be launching the latest mission to explore the Martian landscape. 

The mission is called the Mars 2020 Perseverance Mission.  Perseverance is the name of the exploration vehicle, the most sophisticated roving vehicle to be sent to the Red Planet.  The name Perseverance was chosen to embody NASA’s determination to overcome all challenges in accomplishing this latest space exploration mission.

Only one other Mars rover is still in operation.  Curiosity Rover is currently exploring Mount Sharp in the middle of a crater called Gale Crater.

Read more about the Mars Exploration 2020 Launch

The Earth from the Moon

The rising Earth is about five degrees above the lunar horizon in this telephoto view taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft, near 110 degrees east longitude.  The horizon, about 570 kilometres (350 statute miles) from the spacecraft is near the eastern side of the Moon as viewed from the Earth.