Jul 27, 2018LegalComments Off on Rare celestial events to occur early Saturday
Taipei, Astronomy buffs will be treated to two significant celestial events, a total lunar eclipse and the opposition of Mars, in the early hours of Saturday, the Central Weather Bureau said Friday.
The lunar eclipse will last between 1:13 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, and most of the process, which will make the moon turn blood-red at one point, will be visible all over Taiwan, the bureau said.
With weather conditions expected to be clear, stargazers can observe the eclipse with the naked eye simply by looking up at the western sky, the bureau suggested.
During the eclipse, the full moon will have a copper hue when it becomes completely obscured by the Earth's shadow between 3:30 a.m. and 5:14 a.m., it said.
In a total lunar eclipse, the Earth is positioned between the sun and the moon, blocking sunlight from what would otherwise be a radiant full moon.
The moon does not completely disappear in a total lunar eclipse, however, because the light reflected from the lunar surface is refracted by the Earth's atmosphere.
The last time such an event took place was on Jan. 31, 2018, and the next total lunar eclipse will not happen until May 26, 2021, the bureau said.
The red planet Mars will also appear at its brightest since 2003 overnight as it comes to closer to Earth than it has been in years during an "opposition," the Taipei Astronomical Museum said.
While the exact time of the opposition fell at 1:13 p.m. Friday, which was invisible due to sunlight, observation conditions will be close to ideal overnight Friday and Saturday and even a few days after the event, according to the museum.
A Mars opposition occurs when the Earth passes between the sun and the red planet and all three are arranged in a nearly straight line, making the two planets also the closest to each other.
The event this time is particularly significant because it is the most significant opposition of the past 15 years, the museum said.
The opposition of Mars takes place approximately every two years, but due to the very elliptical orbit of Mars, the distance between Earth and Mars varies significantly during each encounter, it said.
The next time such a significant opposition will take place in 2035, according to the museum.
Comments Off on Taipei-Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau is promoting mountain tourism at the 4-day Taipei International Travel Fair that began Friday.
The bureau is focusing on five north-south mountain ranges — the Central Mountain, Xueshan, Yushan, Alishan and the Coastal Mountain ranges — in its pavilion at the fair, said bureau Deputy Director-General Chang Shi-chung (???).
Chang said there will be various exhibitions and forums on the mountains of Taiwan, as well as its unique cultural features such as historic trails and aboriginal lifestyles.
Taiwan is preparing to market 2020 as the Year of Mountain Tourism, after its efforts to position the country as an important international mountaineering destination in July, when the government allowed public access to the island’s national parks.
Previously, people who wanted to visit restricted “ecological protected areas” in Taiwan’s national parks had to apply for permits from both the National Police Agency and the Construction and Planning Agency.
Now, however, the Construction and Planning Agency has launched a new mountain permit application portal that requires mountain visitors to apply for only one permit and provides fast-track processing to expedite applications, the bureau said.
Much of Taiwan is covered by mountains, and it has 268 mountains of over 3,000 meters, according to the Tourism Bureau website.
That environment has made hiking and mountain climbing one of the favorite pastimes of Taiwan residents.
The number of permits issued to Taiwanese citizens and foreign nationals for access to trails in Yushan, Taroko and Shei Pa national parks has risen from 153,736 in 2016 to 187,053 in 2017 and 201,526 in 2018, according to Construction and Planning Agency figures.
In 2018, foreign nationals accounted for 7.24 percent of the permits issued.
There will be around 1,700 booths from 60 countries at the fair, to be held Nov. 8-11 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center.
The fair, the largest of its kind in Taiwan, will feature South Korean and Japanese tourism operators amid growing local interest in travel to those countries.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel