The Milky Way Galaxy is one of the most interesting naked eye sights in the night sky. The name comes from its appearance as a dim glowing milky band arching across the night sky. The term Milky Way is a translation from Latin via lactea and Greek milky circle as seen from inside. However, it’s not bright, and it’s not always well placed to be seen. So to see it, you will have to meet the following minimum requirements:
‐ Finding a dark clear night sky with no moonlight are the key words here for a best view of the Milky Way in the grand design (you can get an app that will show you the Moon Phases Calendar for iPhone here or for Android here);
‐ No city lights, no headlights, basically as far as you can from any source of light pollution. You will need to travel far from any city, to a wild area or rural countryside. The best viewing site would be from the middle of the ocean either northern hemisphere or southern hemisphere being so far away from the artificial city lights.
‐ No telescopes, no binoculars, (just eyeglasses if you’re near sighted) and at least one eyeball. TIP: By using a cheap binoculars which I got from Amazon can increase the view experience being able to see other galaxies as Andromeda Galaxy (M31), nebulae and event comets. At the other end you can use a high end telescope which also I got from Amazon that allows you to simply enter the date, time and your location, and then it points to the star. A fat telescope like this model offers views of celestial objects that you may not be able to view with a smaller reflector.
‐ Best atmospheric conditions, a misty sky wouldn’t block it completely, nor would humidity. It would make it not as sharp, but still visible.
‐ Give your eyes at least 15-20 minutes to adapt to the darkness though. Your eyes will become more sensitive to low light level.
‐ A little bit of timing in late summer or winter evenings in Northern Hemisphere.
We live in the Milky Way Galaxy, this means that every time we gaze at the night sky we are looking at the Milky Way Galaxy. More exactly the spiral arm closer to the galactic center one part of the year and in the other part we see the near edge of the spiral arm farther from the galactic center. Due to nebula and dust clouds, we can’t see the center of our Galaxy (in visible light) at any time.
The summer Milky Way will look brighter in the Northern Hemisphere. Most noticeably you should be able to see the Great Rift in good dark skies. This dark lane in between Cygnus and Scutum is where a string of dense interstellar clouds block the view of more distant stars. At longer wavelengths in the infrared, light passes through these clouds more easily and we get a better view of the overall shape of our Galaxy, but there are still enough clouds created a dark reddened lane through the middle of the Milky Way Galaxy.
The two Magellanic Clouds irregular dwarf galaxies are visible from the Southern Hemisphere which may be orbiting our Milky Way Galaxy.
The Milky Way Galaxy is our home in the existing Univers, it is a barred spiral galaxy 100,000‐120,000 light-years in diameter containing 200‐400 billion stars and at least as many planets including our solar system. The galactic center is named Sagittarius A and its belived to hold a supermassive black hole with an estimated mass of 4.1‐4.5 million times the mass of our Sun.
Milky Way Galaxy is approximately 13.7 billion years old, almost as the Universe itself. The age is determined by taking the age of the stars in the Milky Way.
The Milky Way contains at least 100 billion stars and may have up to 400 billion stars. The exact number is not known.
Earth, along with the Solar System, is situated in the Milky Way galaxy, orbiting about 28,000 light years from the center of the galaxy.
From the Moon, Asteroids, and Planets to countless deep space objects, you can discover something new in the night sky just about every night of the year within the vast expansion of the Universe.
As the Earth makes its annual orbit around the Sun, we get the opportunity to view special celestial events like meteor showers, conjunctions, and eclipses. Some last just a few hours while others can last several days or weeks, but once they’re here, time is of the essence! So mark your calendar, grab your telescope, and take a look at some of 2017’s unforgettable events.
– The first major meteor shower of the year, the Quadrantids, will peak on the night of January 3 and early morning hours of January 4.
– At 15:17 (3:17 pm) UTC on January 4, 2017, Earth will be at perihelion: the closest point to the Sun in its yearly orbit. The opposite happens in July when Earth is at aphelion.
– A penumbral lunar eclipse is hard to see with the naked eye and is often mistaken for an ordinary Full Moon. The eclipse will be visible from Europe, most of Asia, Africa, and most of North America.
– The typical ring of fire of an annular solar eclipse will be visible in a narrow belt stretching from southern and western Africa, much of South America, the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and Antarctica. In surrounding areas, a partial solar eclipse will be visible.
– The March equinox is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the start of fall in the Southern Hemisphere by astronomical season definitions.
– The Lyrid meteor shower is expected to peak between April 22 and 23, 2017. A Waning Crescent Moon will make it dark enough to see the shooting stars, as long as the weather is good.
– The best time to see shooting stars from the Eta Aquarid meteor shower is in the early morning, just before dawn, on May 5 and 6, 2017.
– The Full Moon is at apogee, the farthest point from Earth, making June’s Strawberry Moon a Micromoon. This Full Moon looks around 12 to 14% smaller than its counterpart, the Supermoon.
– This solstice is the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the longest day of the year. In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the winter solstice and the shortest day of the year.
– At 20:11 (8:11 pm) UTC on July 3, 2017, Earth will be at aphelion: the furthest point from the Sun in its yearly orbit. The opposite happens in January when Earth reaches perihelion.
– The partial lunar eclipse on August 7 to 8, 2017 will be visible from most parts of southern and eastern Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia.
– The shooting stars of the Perseid meteor shower, are known as the most active and brightest meteor showers of the year.
– The total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, has been nicknamed the Great American Eclipse as it will be visible in a path spanning all across the United States from the East Coast to the West Coast.
– The New Moon causing the Great American Eclipse is a Black Moon because it is the 3rd New Moon in a season with 4 New Moons. However, like a Blue Moon, there are several definitions.
– The September equinox is the first day of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and the start of spring in the Southern Hemisphere by astronomical season definitions.
– The best time to see the shooting stars of the peaking Draconids is just before nightfall on October 8, 2017.
– The Orionids are visible from October 2 to November 7, but the shower peaks the night between October 20 and 21, 2017.
– The Leonids’ shooting stars will peak on the night of November 17 and early morning of November 18 in 2017.
– The Full Moon on the night between December 3 and 4, 2017, coincides with the Moon’s closest approach to Earth; also called perigee. This makes December’s Cold Moon a Supermoon. A Supermoon looks around 12 to 14% larger than its counterpart, the Micromoon.
– The December solstice is winter solstice and the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is summer solstice and the longest day of the year.