Mars, Venus and the Perseid Meteor Shower: Everything You Need to Know About the Summer Sky

Dana Dovey

Summer traditionally marks a time for us to gather with our loved ones and look up at the night sky. Lucky for us, this summer will be filled with plenty of awe-inspiring celestial events to ensure that your summer nights are especially memorable.  

From spotting our two closest heavenly neighbors to watching the best meteor shower of the year, this summer sky will be anything but boring in the upcoming weeks. However, not all events can be observed from every location on Earth. Make sure to check out how to watch these events so you don’t miss them.

July 13: Partial Solar Eclipse

Not all the celestial events are during the evening. On July 13 there will be a partial solar eclipse. Unfortunately for us, this will occur nearly entirely over open water. However, those on the most southern tips of New Zealand and Australia may be able to catch a brief glimpse, according to Space.com.

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July 15: Catch a Glimpse of Venus

Our neighbor Venus gets far less attention than Mars, but on July 15 at sunset, sky-watchers can observe it in the sky. The best place to observe this is North America, according to National Geographic.  

06_18_Venus

A crescent moon and Venus rise in the predawn hours over the East Side of Manhattan on March 27, 2014. Stan Honda/AFP/Getty

July 27: Total Lunar Eclipse

This will be the second total lunar eclipse of 2018 and can be seen in Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe and South America, TimeandDate reports. This will also be the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century and will last for one hour and 43 minutes, according to IFL Science. Unfortunately, North Americans won’t be able to catch this one, as it’ll arrive in the daytime on their continent, Time reported.

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July 27: Mars at Opposition

If you aren’t able to catch the lunar eclipse, you may have more luck spotting Mars, which will come into view the same evening. On July 27, Mars will sit opposite to the sun in our sky, which means that the Red Planet will look extra bright and orange in our sky, according to National Geographic.

August 11: Partial Solar Eclipse

This partial solar eclipse will be visible in most parts of Canada, Greenland, Northern Europe and northern and eastern Asia, Seasky.com reported. Although not as grand as a total eclipse, the partial eclipse will cause the sun to appear to as if a bite was taken out of it, as the moon will only partially block its shadow.

August 12-13: Perseid Meteor Shower

The Perseid meteor shower will occur in mid-August and is largely considered to be the best meteor shower of the year. At its peak, you can see between 60 and 70 meteors an hour, Space.com reported. The shower can be observed from both hemispheres, but meteors are seen in greater volume in the Northern Hemisphere.

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Perseid Meteor Shower

A Perseid meteor streaks across the sky to the left of the hoodoo named Thor's Hammer in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, on August 13, 2016. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The meteor shower occurs when Earth passes through the densest part of the Swift-Tuttle comet. This means that although the peak is the nights of August 12 and 13, you may be able to catch some meteors both before and after this point.

This article was first written by Newsweek

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