Along with the celebration of Halloween, astronomy fans will be able to enjoy at the end of next October three celestial events at once: the apogee of the southern Taurid meteor shower, the opposition of Uranus and the 'blue moon' .
Southern Taurids meteor shower.
This year, a southern Taurid meteor shower will light up the skies between September 10 and November 20 and reach its peak on the night of October 29-30, according to the American Meteorite Society.
The phenomenon, sometimes called 'Halloween fireballs', is an observable phenomenon between the months of October and November, which occurs when the Earth passes through the particles of Comet Encke, a short-term periodic comet that orbits around the Sun once every 3.3 years. Taurids are visible virtually anywhere on Earth except the South Pole.
It doesn't have many 'shooting stars' to show Earth's inhabitants, but as these particles are larger than those of other meteors, they can streak through the sky like brilliant and spectacular fireballs.
Uranus will make its closest approach to Earth and will fully reflect the sunlight, causing an event, called ‘opposition’, which makes it appear brighter and larger, according to the In-The-Sky.org portal.
The planet will appear in the constellation of Aries and will be visible in both hemispheres during much of the night - between around 18:50 (GMT) on October 30 and 04:40 the next day - reaching its highest point in the sky around midnight.
In addition, another astronomical phenomenon, called ‘blue moon’, will coincide with Halloween on the night of October 31 in the northern hemisphere. Despite its name, the event has nothing to do with the tone with which Earth's natural satellite is seen, reports EarthSky.
As the Library of Congress explains, a ‘blue moon’ occurs when four full moons occur in a single season instead of the typical three. When this happens, the third moon of the four is called the 'blue moon'.
The phenomenon is not particularly rare, as it occurs approximately once every two to three years.
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