Good deeds are hard to come by
And genuine affection is not what you can buy.
For matters of the heart are pure,
And in your case we are very sure.
Thank you for all that you have done,
You, in our darkest hour have been our sun.
We will probably never have the opportunity to meet
But in our hearts your loving and caring will always stay
We can never thank you enough for what you have done for us.
It is rare these days that you find such pearls amongst men
True pearls each and everyone you are and for being there
in our hour of need we will never forget you.
Thank you is not enough for what you have done for us.
Your kindness and generosity will remain in our hearts for
as long as we live.
A prayer, a blessing we will say for each of you everyday.
Thank you for your wonderful gift you have given us and
you will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Mildred and Margaret
Thank you to the following individuals that donated to these very special ladies….
Explanation: Eta Carinae may be about to explode. But no one knows when – it may be next year, it may be one million years from now. Eta Carinae’s mass – about 100 times greater than our Sun – makes it an excellent candidate for a full blown supernova. Historical records do show that about 170 years ago Eta Carinae underwent an unusual outburst that made it one of the brightest stars in the southern sky. Eta Carinae, in the Keyhole Nebula, is the only star currently thought to emit natural LASER light. This featured image brings out details in the unusual nebula that surrounds this rogue star. Diffraction spikes, caused by the telescope, are visible as bright multi-colored streaks emanating from Eta Carinae’s center. Two distinct lobes of the Homunculus Nebula encompass the hot central region, while some strange radial streaks are visible in red extending toward the image right. The lobes are filled with lanes of gas and dust which absorb the blue and ultraviolet light emitted near the center. The streaks, however, remain unexplained.
2019 skywatching: Here are the best eclipses and meteor showers of the year
From solar and lunar eclipses to a rare transit of Mercury, there are plenty of celestial events to take in.
By Denise Chow
Whether you’re a seasoned stargazer or a night sky newbie, there are plenty of celestial events to take in during 2019. Here are 14 sky shows you shouldn’t miss, including eclipses, meteor showers and a rare transit of Mercury.
Quadrantid meteor shower. Keep the New Year’s celebration going with the first major meteor shower of 2019. Though the Quadrantids start to appear in late December, they peak overnight on Jan. 3-4. The Quadrantids are typically fainter than most other meteor showers, but this year’s show may be a good one because there’s no bright moon to wash out the night sky.
Unlike most meteor showers, which arise when tiny bits of debris from a comet burn up in Earth’s atmosphere, the Quadrantids are thought to be caused by debris from an asteroid.
Partial solar eclipse. Skywatchers in northeast Asia and the north Pacific, including China, Russia and Japan, will be treated to a partial solar eclipse on Jan. 6, as the moon passes between Earth and the sun. The eclipse will start at around 6:34 p.m. ET (23:34 UTC). As with all partial and total solar eclipses, it should be viewed only with special protective glasses or gear.
Total lunar eclipse. People in North and South America and parts of western Europe and Africa will be treated to a total lunar eclipse overnight on Jan. 20-21. Lunar eclipses occur when Earth passes between the moon and the sun, blocking the sun’s light and casting a shadow over the moon. This one — the last total lunar eclipse until 2021 — promises to be special because it coincides with a “supermoon,” meaning the moon is a bit closer to Earth in its orbit around our planet and thus appears slightly bigger.
Lyrid meteor shower. The Lyrids, so named because they seem to arise from the direction of the constellation Lyra, are active from April 16 to April 25 and peak overnight on April 22-23. The Lyrids are caused by debris from Comet Thatcher, which takes about 415 years to complete one orbit around the sun.
Eta Aquariid meteor shower. The Eta Aquariids are active from April 19 to May 28 and peak overnight on May 5-6. The Eta Aquariids, so named because the shooting stars appear to come from the direction of the constellation Aquarius, are one of two showers created by debris from Halley’s Comet, which takes about 76 years to orbit the sun. The other is the Orionids meteor shower.
Total solar eclipse. On July 2, people in parts of the Southern Hemisphere, including Chile and Argentina, will be able to see a total solar eclipse, when the moon passing between Earth and the sun fully blocks the sun’s light. A partial solar eclipse will be visible in parts of South America, including Ecuador, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. The eclipse will start at 12:55 p.m. ET (16:55 UTC) and reach totality at 3:22 p.m. ET (19:22 UTC).
Partial lunar eclipse. On July 16, skywatchers across much of Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia and South America will be treated to a partial lunar eclipse that reaches its maximum at around 5:30 p.m. ET (21:30 UTC).
Perseid meteor shower. The Perseid meteor shower is typically one of the year’s brightest. These shooting stars are active from around July 17 to Aug. 24 and peak overnight on Aug. 12-13. The Perseids are caused by debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years.
Orionid meteor shower. The Orionids are active from about Oct. 2 to Nov. 7 and peak overnight on Oct. 21-22. Named after the constellation Orion, the Orionids are caused by debris from Halley’s Comet.
Transit of Mercury. On Nov. 11 the planet Mercury will pass in front of, or transit, the sun, appearing as a tiny black dot against the bright disk of our host star. This transit of Mercury will be the first since 2016 and the last until 2032. As with solar eclipses, planetary transits can cause eye damage if viewed without appropriate gear. A telescope with a magnification of 50x or more that has been equipped with a proper solar filter is recommended for viewing this transit.
Leonid meteor shower. The Leonid meteor shower is active from around Nov. 6 to Nov. 30 and peaks overnight on Nov. 17-18. Named after the constellation Leo, this shower occurs when Earth passes through debris from Comet Tempel-Tuttle, which takes about 33 years to orbit the sun.
Geminid meteor shower. The Geminids are active from around Dec. 4 to Dec. 17 and peak overnight on Dec. 13-14. Like the Quadrantids, the Geminids are thought to be caused by debris from an asteroid — in this case a space rock known as 3200 Phaethon.
Live in the Northern Hemisphere? If so and you’ve never seen the planet Mercury – or even if you have – take advantage of your golden opportunity to see Mercury after sunset these next few weeks. Late February and early March, 2019, showcase Mercury’s best appearance in the evening sky for this year for northerly latitudes. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you might glimpse Mercury, too, but it’ll be tougher. Your best evening view of Mercury will come in October 2019.
No matter where you are on Earth, here’s how to find Mercury. Make sure you have an unobstructed horizon in the direction of sunset, and, if possible, perch yourself on top of a hill or balcony. Then, as dusk deepens into darkness, look for Mercury to pop out low in the sky close to the sunset point on the horizon. You might see Mercury with the eye alone an hour or so after sunset. With binoculars, you can spot Mercury even earlier.
At mid-northern latitudes, Mercury follows the sun beneath the horizon about 1 1/3 hours after sundown. At Earth’s equator (0 degrees latitude), Mercury sets about one hour after the sun; and at temperate latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, Mercury only stays out for about 40 minutes after sunset.
Mercury is often said to be elusive. Some people say they’ve never seen it. But that’s not because Mercury is faint. In fact, Mercury is super bright right now, shining some six times more brilliantly than a 1st-magnitude star.
Even so, even when it’s this bright, Mercury isn’t necessarily easy to see. That’s because Mercury only appears in the sky after sunset or before sunrise, when its luster is tarnished by the glow of twilight. Mercury, the innermost planet, orbits the sun inside Earth’s orbit and is often lost in the glare of the sun. But, at opportune times – like now, for the Northern Hemisphere – you can see Mercury fairly easily, if you go outside and look west after sunset.
At present, Mercury is nearing the outer edge of its orbit, as seen from Earth. In fact, one week from now – on February 27, 2019 – Mercury will reach its greatest elongation (maximum angular separation) of 18 degrees east of the setting sun.
Although Mercury’s greatest elongation measures the same in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, Mercury stays out later after dark in the Northern Hemisphere.
That’s because the ecliptic – the pathway of the sun, moon and planets in front of the constellations of the zodiac – hits the evening horizon at a steep angle in late winter, yet at a shallow angle in late summer. Therefore, this evening apparition of Mercury is particularly favorable for the Northern Hemisphere and not so favorable for the Southern Hemisphere. From the Northern Hemisphere now, Mercury should be rather easy pickings.
Mercury is bright in late February, but slowly dimming as seen from Earth, because of its waning phase. Yes, because it’s an inner planet, Mercury shows phases, like a tiny moon. You need a telescope, though, to see Mercury’s phases.
As the days pass this month, Mercury also stays out a little longer after sunset. By this month’s end, Mercury will set about 1 1/2 hours after the sun at mid-northern latitudes. After Mercury sets, look for the zodiacal light.
Bottom line: We’re now in the midst of Mercury’s best evening showing for 2019, for the Northern Hemisphere. At northerly latitudes, watch for Mercury to show itself at early evening – near the sunset point – from now until early March 2019.
Bruce McClure has served as lead writer for EarthSky’s popular Tonight pages since 2004. He’s a sundial aficionado, whose love for the heavens has taken him to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and sailing in the North Atlantic, where he earned his celestial navigation certificate through the School of Ocean Sailing and Navigation. He also writes and hosts public astronomy programs and planetarium programs in and around his home in upstate New York.