Sky Events This Week: Penguin Solar Eclipse, Age of Aquarids and Others

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By Karla Danica Figuerres | May 1, 2014 9:10 AM EST

After witnessing a rare solar eclipse, we are now again going to see a real celestial rock of celestial views.

Age of Aquarids

Beginning Monday, April 28, the Eta Aquarid minor meteor shower will show up. Before being visible this week in the early morning hours of May 6, anywhere from five to ten of the shooting stars should be seen every hour as seen from dark countryside locations.

Penguin Solar Eclipse

A partial solar eclipse will occur as the lunar disk will partly cover the sun over Australia. While on the southern part there will be an "annular" eclipse, "Ring of fire," will appear over the horizon for any small, unoccupied part of Antarctica. Only the penguins will most probable enjoy the sky phenomenon.

The Southern Coast of Australia will be the best spot, because 60 per cent of the sun's disk will be blocked by the moon. While on Tasmania, 70 per cent of the sun will be covered by the moon. This astronomical event is the second of the four eclipses in 2014, two solar and two lunar. The first was the total lunar eclipse on April 14-15.

Pan-STARRS Comet

The magnitude-9 comet Pan-STARRS crosses less than 1 degree south of the bright star Alkaid or Eta Ursa Majoris, the last star at the end of the handle of the Big Dipper.  Search for the Big Dipper constellation located upside down in the Ursa Major constellation close above in the north-eastern sky in the early evening.

On Thursday, May 1, the star touches its nearest point to the iconic Whirlpool galaxy. The intergalactic strange pair will appear separated by only 2 degrees, with the comet north of the island of stars 23 million light-years away. Using a four-inch telescope will give you a better look at the comet and the galaxy.

Razor-Thin Moon

The very thin moon in the very low west will be seen about 30 minutes after sunset. If you can't see it with just your bare eyes, try using telescopes. The bright orange star Aldebaran will appear to its upper left and may help guide you.

Jupiter Pairs Up

On May 4, Sunday, stare closely halfway up the western sky after nightfall for Jupiter, which will be only 5 degrees north of the crescent moon.

Always put in mind that in order to see these intergalactic phenomena you need to wear astronomical-grade solar filters, if not so, your eyes might get permanently damaged.

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