In 2021, we had suborbital flights, we had a rover that landed on Mars, we sent the James Webb telescope, the best so far, in space and we expect from it many “gifts” in 2022. What we will see in 2022 , if we look up at the sky? Adrian Șonka, astronomer at the Admiral Vasile Urseanu Observatory, presented at Digi24 the main astronomical events of 2022.
Every year is good for astronomers, because a lot of phenomena happen and a lot of objects are seen on Earth, says Adrian Șonka. The year 2022 will bring us two visible eclipses in Romania.
One of them will be visible for only 20 minutes, because the Moon is setting. On May 16 we will have a moon eclipse. Basically, we will have to look at the moon in the morning, around 5:00, and we will find that it is very close to the horizon, because it is starting to set, but then it will start to enter the shadow of the Earth. It will be a spectacular phenomenon because we will see both the eclipsed sunset and the rising sun. It’s going to be funny then, says Adrian Șonka.
We’re going to have another eclipse Sun, partial, which will be visible from us, on October 25. The maximum will be around 13:40 and it will look good. Then it will be better to be in the east of the country. There, the Sun will be about 45 percent covered by the Moon, while in the west of the country will be about 30 to 34 percent covered. But it is a beautiful eclipse of the Sun, which will be seen, and for us the advantage is that it is partially visible from anywhere in the world, so we should not be “upset” that others could see it in full, jokes the astronomer.
Occultation between the Moon and Mars. Visible planets
We still have a spectacular phenomenon the approach of the planet Mars. Mars is approaching Earth in December and it will reach about 80 million kilometers from us. At the same time, on the evening when it is best seen all year round, the Moon will cross Mars and cover it. He’ll be seen somewhere around 7:00 in the morning occultation between the Moon and Mars. “I can’t wait, it will be interesting”, confesses Adrian Șonka.
We have other visible planets. For example, in the moon March, in the morning, they will see each other four planets in the sky. Very easy – you wake up and see them all from the window, to the East: Mercury, Mars, Venus and Saturn.
Then they’ll meet Mars with Saturn, through the moon April, it will be next to each other, just like that, in the morning. They’ll meet too Venus with Jupiter, on 1st May.
From the moon July, all year round, three planets will be seen all night: Saturn, Jupiter and Mars. They will remain visible until the end of the year.
“We have a full year, there are also space missions, the sky is quite busy”, concluded Adrian Șonka.
Rain of falling stars
None of the comets we know will give a special show in 2022, however, meteors they will see each other. They come every year, they are like holidays – every year, on the same day, a maximum meteor shower occurs. We can begin to see from the night of January 3 to 4, the Quadrantids, about 100 shooting stars per hour. Then we have the Perseids, between August 11 and 13, we also have the Geminids in December. There are other meteor currents, but there are fewer shooting stars, says Adrian Șonka.
The year of the recapture of the moon
On the other hand, 2022 will be the year of the recapture of the Moon, because almost every state that can afford it will launch probes to the moon. The Americans will launch their Artemis system to the moon and back, with no people on board, will test to see if everything works. India and China will also launch probes to the moon, and it appears that Ukraine also wants to launch a satellite to study the moon closely. “Basically, the moon will assault you, I don’t know how it will handle”, jokes Adrian Șonka.
Mars will also be visited, a mission to Mars will be launched at the end of the year, which will arrive in 2023, and we will also collide with an asteroid satellite, DART mission will reach its target in December and hit an asteroid satellite, the astronomer recalled.
Editor: Luana Pavaluca