Stars align for a memorable astronomical trifecta

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — People often say the “stars align” when a beautiful or magical event happens: Falling in love, winning the lottery, or just a perfect night out.

And on Friday: one star, one moon, and one planet aligned to make a memorable day in astronomy.

“It really brings to light to a lot of us, in a sense how insignificant we are to the universe,” said Joseph Wright from the Astronomical Society of Kansas City.

First, the solar eclipse happened Friday morning, seen in parts of Europe. Then, there was the supermoon, which means the moon is at its closest point to the earth in its orbit. However, it’s a new moon, so skywatchers won’t see it right away.

“Start looking for the earliest new moon you can see- crescent, it’s kind of a challenge for amateur astronomers to see how young of a moon they can actually see,” said Wright.

And it’s the first day of spring, the spring equinox.

For some, this day signifies a “reboot” for people, a new energy in astrology circles and a belief that the universe is allowing humans to “start-over.”

But for many, like Wright, it’s a reminder that the universe is still a mysterious and awe-inspiring place.

The next solar eclipse visible in the United States will be in August of 2017. The center line will run through Missouri, so many of us will have a front-row seat to the event which very rarely takes place in the United States.



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