A SPRING season of skywatching is on the cards for astrophile night sky lovers.

The two giant planets of the solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, will be visible in the predawn sky this spring, between midnight and sunrise, providing amazing views for night owls and early risers.

The cosmic duo will be visible for most of the season, as will Mars, while Mercury will be visible in May and Venus in April.

According to data from the National Geographic Institute (IGN), a total lunar eclipse is expected on May 26, visible from Asia, Australia, the Pacific and America, though, unfortunately, not in Spain.

There will, however, be a solar eclipse visible from Spain’s capital, Madrid, as a partial solar eclipse, starting on June 10 at 11am with a duration of 1 hour, 28 minutes.

The observation of this phenomenon will also be visible in other parts of Europe as well as in North America, northeastern Canada, Greenland, in large areas of northeastern Russia and Asia.

With regard to the moon phases this Spring equinox, the first full moon of the new season is set to grace the skies on March 28, the second on April 27 and the third on May 26.

Other important astronomical phenomena include the Lyrid and Eta Aquarid meteor showers, which will peak around April 22 and May 6, respectively.

Star patterns to keep an eye out during Spring include Bootes, known as the Herdsman, which contains the supergiant red star Arcturus, which is 37 light-years from Earth and is 20 times larger than the sun.

Leo is also easy to spot to the south because of its striking inverted question mark shape, while to the north, the Big Dipper is clearly distinguishable.

Spring in Spain makes for one of the perfect places for stargazing, the nights are still long and it is less cold than in winter, additionally Spain has one of the clearest skies of Europe.

This season will last 92 days and 18 hours, ending on June 21 with the start of summer.


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