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How to watch this week's lunar eclipse and meteor shower over Cornwall

August 7, 2017 8:35 AM
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Sky-watchers are in for a treat this week when they can enjoy one of their busiest weeks of the year.

There are three stand-out events to witness in this skies this week, including a lunar eclipse and a meteor shower bringing up to 60 shooting stars every hour.

And the rest of August will be a great time to watch the skies too, with solar eclipses and new moons later this month.

While some of the events, including the eclipses, won't be prime viewing for us here in the UK - we have listed everything you need to know below to make sure you don't miss out on the incredibly rare sights, including where to see live streams of the events over the next 31 days.

According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, the August full moon was nicknamed The Full Sturgeon Moon in America as it symbolised the perfect time of year to fish for sturgeons in the many lakes across the country.

While in Cornwall we won't be lucky enough to see the full spectacle of a lunar eclipse, we will be able see part of it.

A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth is directly between the sun and the full moon.

According to website, across the pond in the USA, millions of people will be able to see the rare phenomenon of a total lunar eclipse.

While here we won't be quite so lucky, we should still be able to spot part of the incredible display.

Providing weather conditions are good, keen sky-watchers will be able to see the partial eclipse between 7.30pm and 8pm.

The website also states that NASA will broadcast a three-hour live stream of the event for those of us not lucky enough to see it first hand.

The Perseids Meteor Shower is one of the most famous meteor showers in the world and is known for producing a high amount of bright meteors.

The shower has actually been running for the past couple of weeks, and can be seen between July 17 and August 24, however the best time to view the amazing display is on the night of August 11 and in the early hours of August 12.

The shower will be able to be seen with up to 60 shooting stars every hour crossing the skies above Cornwall.

The best way to view the natural show will be by heading to a dark location away from light pollution in the early hours of August 12.

The new moon will rise on August 21 – while the monthly cycle does prove any particular great spectacle to see, it does lead to perfect conditions for sky watching.

With no light from the moon, August 21 will be the best time to spot the sights that are even further away, including galaxies and star clusters.

To have both a lunar eclipse and a solar eclipse in the same month is incredibly rare.

While we won't be able to see a full eclipse of either of the phenomena, we will be able to see part of it.

At around 8pm on August 21, the moon will move between the sun and the earth. The best place to see this will be in North America, which will experience it's first full solar eclipse for more than 50 years.

Here in England we can only except to see a very small part of the eclipse, sadly so small that it may go unnoticed altogether.

From here, only around four per cent of the sun will be covered by the moon – but never fear, if you don't want to miss out on the incredible event, NASA will be bringing it to world, live.

The broadcast will include images taken by 11 spacecraft, at least three NASA aircraft, more than 50 high-altitude balloons and the astronauts who are currently orbiting the Earth on the International Space Station.

You can find out more about the lunar and solar eclipse on NASA's website here.


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