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Viewing Tips:

Now that you have a list of Coming Events, how do you view them? That depends on what it is you are viewing.

Meteor Showers:

These annual events are always fun to watch. While the particular meteor shower is visible over a span of several days, there is a peak date where the number of meteors possible will be highest. Meteor showers are measure by numbers visible per hour. While there is a guide available (lets say the Perseids have an average of 40 per hour - not an accurate number) this is not the standard. There could only be 10 per hour, or maybe 100 per hour. Meteor showers are unpredictable in the number visible.

On the peak date of any given meteor shower, the best time to view them is usually between 11:30 P.M. and 2:30 A.M. The radiant - that is the originating location of the meteors - is defined by the name of the shower. For example, the Perseids appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus. Note that this is apparent only as it just happens to be in that region of the sky; regardless, the Perseids will always appear from this location. The Orionids will appear to radiate from the constellation Orion, and so on.

Solar Eclipse:

A Solar Eclipse is a wonderful and rare event, but must be viewed cautiously. I have created a dedicate Solar Viewing Safety page to help guide the Solar observer get the most out of this event.

For the record, it is safe to go outside during an eclipse!

Lunar Eclipse:

There are no precautions needed to view a lunar eclipse. You are free to use binoculars or a telescope to view this wonderful event. One thing to make sure of: make sure you have plenty of film if you plan to photograph a Lunar Eclipse! You wouldn't want to miss a thing.

Interesting Conjunctions:

These events are merely photo opportunities as several celestial objects - like the Moon and a few planets - are in the same region of the sky. These events will allow the given objects listed in the conjunction list to be in the same field of view of a camera. The most dramatic events seem to be either just after Sunset and just before Sunrise when the planets Mercury and/or Venus happen to be a part of the event.

You can safely view these events, and photography is encouraged. However, you may have to take many images as the brightness between the background, Moon and planets can vary greatly.

Transits:

A transit occurs when one celestial body passes in front of another. While transits of the Moons of Jupiter across the face of Jupiter occur frequently, the most dramatic of these events is the transit of Mercury or Venus across the face of the Sun. These are truly rare events and Solar Viewing Safety should be carefully obeyed. When Mercury or Venus pass in front of the Sun, there is no visible loss in brightness be please be careful in viewing these!

While binoculars - equipped with the appropriate solar filters - can be used to view this event, these are best observer with a telescope - with the appropriate solar filters installed. Video capture is common in these events as are photographs captured every few seconds for the duration of the event.

For the record, only the planets Mercury and Venus can transit the Sun. This is because the orbits of Mercury and Venus around the Sun are inside the orbit of Earth.

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