Chinese spacecraft successfully lands on the back side of the moon

The Chang'e-4 blasts off from the launch pad at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on 8 December 2018

The Chang'e-4 blasts off from the launch pad at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on 8 December

In fact, the first month of the year is going to bring a rare lunar event - Super Blood Moon - to excite amateur astronomers.

And even more exciting, it's the first of a number of notable astronomical events to arrive in 2019.

Formed from the debris left by Hailey's Comet when it flew by Earth in 1986, the Eta Aquarids meteor shower will be one of the best we'll witness this year.

The year will also witness several other planetary occurrences, kicking off with a partial solar eclipse on January 6, including a rare transit of Mercury on November 11 and ending with an annular solar eclipse on December 26.

2019 is featuring five eclipses, a rare planet transit, one of the best meteor showers and a super blood wolf moon, but the fun doesn't stop there. Let's take a closer look at the three bits in its name.

Quoting Dr Rajendraprakash Gupt, Superintendent of the Ujjain-based Jiwaji Observatory, PTI says the partial lunar eclipse will be visible in India.

In the late afternoon of July 2, a total solar eclipse will occur over southern parts of Chile and Argentina, and parts of the South Pacific. It didn't say when the landing would occur.

Other spacecraft have already seen the far side of the moon but no lander or rover has ever been there.

The term "blood" stems from the rusty brownish-red color the moon turns during a total lunar eclipse.

During a solar eclipse, the moon blocks the sun, leaving only its outer edges visible from earth.

NASA explains: "This happens for the exact same reason our sunrises and sunsets here on Earth are brilliant shades of pinks and oranges". A crewed lunar mission is also under consideration.

The effect is known as Rayleigh Scattering and weirdly is also responsible for the blue colour of some eyes.

Taking place on the 20th or 21st (depending on where you are), this will be no ordinary eclipse as the moon will be at its closest point to Earth, making it appear bigger and brighter than usual.

This eclipse will also coincide with a supermoon, which is named as such because the full moon appears slightly larger and brighter than normal.

January 20: Catch a super, bloody and wolverine moon!

The best time to see this rare celestial event in the United Kingdom will reportedly be January 21, 2019 at 5.13am.

Once again, North American skies won't be part of this event, but those in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia will have front row seats. Most people in Asia, including India, will miss the complete eclipse, whereas people in eastern Africa and eastern Europe will just get to see the partial lunar eclipse, which will start before the 10:11am start time, and continue after the 62 minutes mark.

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