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Post Info TOPIC: January 2010


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RE: January 2010
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This month, Mars will be the closest it's been in more than two years. Astronomers call it opposition, and it happens when the Earth and another planet find themselves in a straight line with the sun, with the Earth in between the sun and the planet. This can only happen to a planet like Mars that is farther away from the sun than our Earth. These planets are referred to as superior planets.
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The constellation Orion (The Hunter) is especially visible this time of the year, said the astronomer. Right now, he said it is very clear in the southeastern sky about 8:30 to 9 p.m. at night.
On Feb. 9, LeBlanc said there will be a close approach to Earth by an asteroid -- namely Asteroid 2009 UN3. He said it is just under a kilometre in size and should be visible with a moderate or large telescope.

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Mars is closer and brighter. Major features such as the polar cap and major albedo features are now visible in moderate size back yard scopes. Some bright passes of the International Space Station over the Denver area this week. A very active region is rotating into view on the sun's southeast limb.

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This is a good week to study Gemini, the Twins, who are tilted on their side in the east about 9 p.m.
Gemini has two considerable stars, Pollux and Castor. Castor is an interesting sight in a telescope. What appears as one bright star to the naked eye is in fact much more.

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The stage is set for astronomy lovers to witness the longest solar eclipse of the millennium on Friday, as the sun eclipse in India began around 11 a.m. and is expected to finish around 3:15 p.m., with the maximum eclipse to be witnessed at 1:39 p.m.
The people of Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Mumbai, Varanasi, Chennai, Kurkshetra and Kerala are witnessing the solar eclipse at present.

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Sky enthusiasts will have a rare opportunity to witness the longest annular solar eclipse occurring on Friday. With its path passing through the southern tip of India its partial phase will be visible throughout the country.
Although it will be visible from most of the southern parts of the country including Trivandrum, Nagercoil, Kanyakumari, Madurai, Rameshwaram, Thanjavur, etc, almost 64% will also be seen from Mumbai.

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South Tamil Nadu is set to witness the first annular solar eclipse in a hundred years and the longest one in the third millennium. This eclipse, which will occur on January 15, will also be the longest annular solar eclipse that India will witness in the next 1033 years.
The annual eclipse will however be seen only in the southern parts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and northern parts of Sri Lanka. The rare celestial occurrence has hence seen many astronomers flock to these areas to witness it with the prime point being Dhanushkodi in Rameswaram.

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Rare eclipse of the sun in Uganda tomorrow

There will be an annular eclipse of the sun in Kampala and other parts of the country on Friday morning, according to the National Aeronautic and Space Administration, NASA.
In the eclipse, the moon will throw its shadow onto the sun covering its middle part but leaving an outer ring. Viewed from here, the sun will appear like a ring of fire and the moon like a circular dark patch in the sun.
The eclipse will only dim but not totally darken the sky.

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