An invitation to Astronomy

“First” blogpost not related to Plant Ecology

Fall term is coming to an end, and winter break is within your grasp.  Many fellow students including me might be planning for winter getaways, or chilling with friends and family for Christmas.  Here I present to you: An invitation to Astronomy.

It was an exciting November for people who loves astronomy thanks to the biggest supermoon since 1948.  Unfortunately, I was not able to take pictures of the Moon thanks to many assignments and midterms.  Luckily, it is reported that another supermoon will be appearing on December 12-13, 2016, and it is expected to show at 1:25PM Eastern Times.

At this point you might ask yourself that how Moon is up at daytime? To put it simply, it is because the Moon revolves around the Earth, not the Sun.  As you all know, Earth rotates 360° in roughly 24 hours, and at the same time it slowly revolves around the Sun.  With the help of the Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein, in relative to Earth, the Sun is stationary.  With this in mind, Earth’s rotation is the only factor that determines day and night depending on which region of Earth you are in.  The Moon however, revolves around the Earth roughly 26-27 days, and the revolving speed is different with the Earth’s revolution around the Sun, which is roughly 365 days.  The difference in revolution speed can lead to a phenomenon where the Moon is in between of Earth and Sun, and sometimes perfectly aligned so that the Moon blocks sunlight in a particular region of the Earth, which is called total Solar eclipse.  For your information, the last total Solar eclipse happened in March 9, 2016 here.

Picture of the geminids meteor shower

Alright, let’s take a step back from all these physics, the bottom line here is that there is going to be another supermoon in December 12-13, and there are more! Across North America and Western Europe, you will be able to witness a lunar eclipse near constellation Taurus at 11:13pm on December 13, and a meteor Shower near constellation Gemini. After the plant ecology exam, if the sky is clear, bring binoculars to check out the wonders of the space, the final frontier.  You might want to find a place where the light pollution is the lowest.  In York University, I recommend the top floor of the parking lot at William Small Centre, but try not to go there alone.  There are many more sky events in December, you can check them here.





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