When it comes to space, 2018 was a pretty exciting year.
Falcon Heavy Space.com started successfully – even to the surprise of CEO Elon Mask. Space ship "NASA" landed on Mars. Another spacecraft NASA, OSIRIS-REx, arrived safely on the asteroid Bennu. And, of course, Canadian astronaut David Saint Jacques is working on the International Space Station until June.
The following year should be no less exciting. Here are some of the most important things to expect in 2019.
Happy New Year!
On July 14, 2015, NASA's New Horizons ship gave us a first glimpse of Pluto, which is well over five billion kilometers.
On January 1, "New Horizons" will again stand next to another far-reaching world of 6.5 billion kilometers: 2014 MU69, nicknamed Ultima Tule. The icy, irregularly shaped body is only about 30 kilometers in diameter and is located within the Kuiper Belt, a disc that is believed to contain hundreds of thousands of icebergs and possibly millions of other comets.
The new horizons will fly closer to Ultima Thule than Pluto did, allowing more detailed examination of its surface. In 2015, planetary scientists were surprised by what they found on Pluto volcanoes – ice and a thicker atmosphere than expected – so it would not be surprising that Ultima Thule could detect.
A new flying spaceship
When NASA sped up the space shuttle program in 2011, there were no funds for own astronauts at the International Space Station. Instead, it relies on a $ 75m drive on the Russian Space Agency's Soviet Union rockets.
It's about to change.
In 2014, NASA awarded SpaceX and Boeing to develop the next spacecraft to launch Americans from home soil. And in 2019, after several years of development and testing, the two companies were set to explode.
On January 17, SpaceX should conduct a Crew Dragon capsule test – but without a crew. The capsule will launch on the successful SpaceX 9th Falcon 9, called Demo-1. Demo-2, with Robert Beckenen and Douglas Hurley on board, is scheduled for some time in June.
After the delay last year, Boeing will launch the first neutralized launch of its CST-100 Starliner in March, followed by launch with Eric Bo, Chris Ferguson and Nicole Mann.
Shoot the moon
The first eclipse of the new year is a full moon eclipse that will be visible across the country on January 21.
Lunar eclipses occur an average of two to four times a year. There are three different types of eclipses: total, partial and penumbrable.
The total eclipse of the Moon lasts for hours, while the Moon flying through the shadow of the Earth. During the eclipse in January, the total will last more than an hour.
You can hear this eclipse called super-blood wolf moon. There are three reasons for this dramatic nickname.
First, the moon will be almost in the periphery, or the closest point on Earth in its elliptical orbit. When this happens and it's a full moon, it has become popular to call it "super moon" (although it's visually hard to say that the moon is bigger).
Second, full moons are given names per month, and this happens as a "wolf" moon.
And finally, the moon eclipse tends to turn the moon of a copper-reddish-colored color like the sun – which lies behind it – reflects light. The son is scattered, leaving only red, which is reflected by the moon.
No matter what you call it, it should be quite visible.
To the moon!
Over the past few years, more talked about the return of the moon. Three countries successfully landed a spacecraft on the moon: the United States, Russia (the former Soviet Union) and China. But another country will be added to the list: Israel.
In February – the date has not yet been confirmed – the space-based non-profit company SpaceIL, together with Israel Aerospace Industries, will send a time capsule to the moon.
The capsule will start as a secondary load on the Falcon 9 rocket. It will contain three disks filled with hundreds of digital information files such as the Israel Declaration of Independence, the Bible, dictionaries in 27 languages and more.
Meanwhile, China is gearing up for a one-of-a-kind return to the moon after its successful Chang's 3 rover landed in 2013.
Chang's 4 was launched on Dec. 7 and reached orbit on 12 December. The rover is expected to head to the surface in early January, when the far side of the moon is lit by the sun.
China is also expected to launch Chang's 5 at the end of 2019. It is designed to collect material from the surface of the moon and return to Earth.
Mercury crosses the sun
Being on the third planet from the sun, everyone so often treats a unique visual spectacle: a planet that passes by the face of the sun. These events, called transits, are rare and can only occur with Mercury and Venus.
Canada is in a great location to catch the transit of Mercury on November 11. The whole transit will be visible early in the morning in parts of central and southern Ontario and Quebec and the whole of Atlantic Canada.
In the West, transit will already be in progress at sunrise. The whole event will take about 5½ hours.
Of course, it's important to remember never to look directly at the sun. Instead, people are encouraged to plan ahead and buy special glasses that block the harmful light of the sun.
The last time Mercury crossed the sun in 2016, and that will not happen until 2032. If you hope to see Venus, its next transit is in 2117.