With all of our modern options for entertainment, people are losing touch with the environment around them. When watching movies or television, or listening to any song you want is as easy as opening an app; who wants to just stare at the sky? Well, people who enjoy truly beautiful and one-of-a-kind moments. A TV show, movie, or song can always be accessed later, but when it comes to viewing the splendor that astronomical events have to offer, we humans very often are only afforded one chance to view it with our own eyes. These once in a lifetime occurrences are taking place well outside of our atmosphere, and if we are willing to turn out the lights, silence our phones, and just look up, some of them are perfectly visible from down here on Earth. People have been staring at the stars for centuries, and what they have found is very often breathtaking and more than worth the effort put in to see them.
And darkness fell over the land of Egypt
It’s in the pages of the old testament, the rarest of astronomical events, the complete Solar Eclipse. This once in a lifetime light show that takes place in the heavens hasn’t been seen in almost a decade and according to astronomers, it will be more than a century before the moon once again completely blots out the Sun. The last time it happened was November 2012, and it made quite the spectacle. Hopefully, you caught it though, because odds are if you are reading this you will not be around for the next one.
Cue the planets
Certain planets align with each other and form lines or triangles every few years. It is certainly interesting, and rare, and well worth a trip outside at night to gaze into the vastness of the evening sky. However, the truly rare occurrence is when Mars, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon are all in alignment at the same time. Five planets will all form a brightly lit chain across the darkened sky to make for a stargazing night of epic proportions. Decades pass between sightings of this interplanetary phenomenon and according to leading astronomers, it won’t be happening for another 20-years. But at least we all now know of a perfect date to take someone on … in 2040.
Bathing in the glow
Once every 33-years there is a truly gorgeous interstellar performance in the cosmos that is visible from Earth. The Leonid Meteor Storms are visible when our planet passes through the orbit of the Tempel-Tuttle Comet. During this spectacular period for Outerspace enthusiasts. more than 1,000 meteors can be seen per-hour, and skywatchers can truly bathe themselves in the glow of the majestic meteor showers. The first time an astronomer took note of this beautiful and chaotic event was almost two centuries ago in 1833. There has been a record of each meteor storm since that year and the next predicted sighting will be in 2021. Better go get a new telescope, that’s only a year away!
Comet me bro
Laying eyes on Halley’s comet is another once in a lifetime experience, well, twice if you are extremely lucky. The nine-mile wide piece of space rock is visible to the good people of Earth once every 75-years, so to see it twice you would have to catch it quite young the first time around, and then live to see old age. It is a much easier task in 2021 with modern medical technology, but back when Halley’s comet was first discovered, in the night sky of 1531, laying eyes on it twice was nearly impossible. But, people born in the early 1980s have a good chance of making it happen!
Storms from the North
Once every three decades The Great White ThunderStorms will rage across the northern hemisphere of Saturn. These storms make even the worst of Earth’s hurricanes look tame. For one thing, they stretch so far across Saturn that in comparison it would be half the diameter of Earth. Then, another thing is that scientists estimate that they hit with a force 10,000 times stronger than even the worst storm our planet has ever seen. These chaotic and destructive storms aren’t visible from Earth without the help of a high-quality telescope, but they are still incredible cosmic events.
More about Jael Josevich
“I’m a writer with a passion for baking, coffee and all things Kristen Bell. Also a reluctant Taylor Swift fan who loves scary movies and is scared of everything.