Wondrous World Week

Submitted by Admin on Wed, 03/18/2015 - 09:04

A severe solar storm hit planet Earth, endangering power grids, GPS navigator tracking and pushing colorful northern lights farther south.

Expect Mother Nature's big encore on Friday, with #SpringEquinox, #SolarEclipse and #Supermoon. Making for a rare and unique celestial experience, Friday will see the spring equinox coincide with the solar eclipse and the Super-moon.

Europe prepares for a spectacular total solar eclipse on 3/20, as the day promises to make for an even more unique experience, with two other celestial events, Super-moon and Spring Equinox.

A solar eclipse occurs when the sun and the moon line up, so that the latter becomes obscured by the former. The event is highly anticipated in parts of Europe, particularly in the UK, as the last time the country had seen an eclipse was on August 11, 1999. Sunlight blocked by the moon’s shadow will vary across different places, with parts of the UK expecting 98% coverage, and Faroe Islands expecting a total coverage at 100%.

This one will be a total solar eclipse, where the disk of the sun will be fully obscured by the moon. This is when the Supermoon comes in.

The Supermoon, sometimes referred to as a perigee moon, is when the full or new moon is at its closest point to Earth, making it appear larger than usual. This allows for the total eclipse, as the apparent size of the moon will be large enough to completely obscure the disk of the sun.

The third celestial event, the Equinox, occurs twice a year when the Earth’s axis is perpendicular to the sun’s rays. On those two days, the day and night will have equal duration, and they fall midway between the longest and shortest days of the year. After the Spring Rquinox, the Earth’s axis tips over, making the days longer in the Northern hemisphere.

While the Spring Equinox will have no impact on the other two celestial events, it is extremely rare for all three to fall on the same day. The next Spring Equinox is expected to coincide with a Solar Eclipse will be in 2053 and then on 2072.