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Astronomical show

Cyprus will witness a partial lunar eclipse on Monday night which will be the first astronomical phenomenon of the summer and will see the moon turn red.

According to Chrysanthos Fakas, who is the President of the Cyprus Astronomical Society (ASTREK), the event will be visible with the naked eye throughout the island after sundown.

“During a lunar eclipse, the earth moves between the moon and the sun and subsequently hides the moon from the sun; in other words, the moon is shaded by the earth,” said Fakas.

“The phenomenon starts at 8.22pm on Monday when the moon will slowly start changing colour, turning reddish instead of becoming invisible,” he added.
The peak of the lunar eclipse will be at 9.20pm while the moon is expected to start moving out of the earth’s shadow at 10.18pm.

On the occasion of the phenomenon, the Fakas Institute observatory in Nicosia will be open to the public, who can witness the eclipse as well as the planets Jupiter and Saturn through the institute’s telescope.

Next Saturday will see the Perseid Meteor Shower, set to continue until August 24, at its most intense.

According to data released by NASA, the meteor shower will be at its densest on that day with the meteors reaching speeds of up to 59km per second.
“They travel the distance between Nicosia and Larnaca in less than one second,” remarked Fakas.

To witness the phenomenon, one should look between the radiant, which will be in the northeast part of the sky, and the zenith (the point in the sky directly above you).

The best time to see the Perseids is after 11pm when the radiant will be at its highest and the moon will start its descent.

The Perseids are space debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle and appear as the earth moves through the Swift-Tuttle comet’s orbit around the sun.

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