3 Cosmic Events Coming Up You Won't Want to Miss

3 Cosmic Events Coming Up You Won't Want to Miss

Space can do some pretty cool things.
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1) The Total Solar Eclipse - August 21st

This will be the first total solar eclipse since 1979, and if you live in America then you're in luck! A total solar eclipse is a particularly spectacular celestial phenomenon because opposed to most cosmic occurrences, it can be seen perfectly clear without the aid of a telescope. The eclipse will span the entire United States from South Carolina to Oregon. The moon will pass completely over the moon, casting a dark shadow upon the Earth for a brief handful of minutes. To view this phenomenon be sure to buy eclipse glasses! It can be dangerous to view the total solar eclipse with the naked eye, the glasses only cost $1-$2 at most local drug stores and Wal-Marts. Don't be fooled by pairs selling for hundreds of dollars on eBay, you won't need anything that fancy. Be sure to stock up soon! Stores are likely to run out closer to the 21st.

Try to get in the path of the eclipse come this August 21st! If you miss it, you'll have to wait until 2024 to catch the next one.

2) The Venus-Jupiter Conjunction - November 13th

The Solar System's two brightest planets, Jupiter and Venus, will appear to touch in the sky on November 13th at dawn. Even though the two planets are millions of miles apart, they will appear to be closer than we are to our moon! Visually they will be less than 0.3 degrees apart. The conjunction will occur very low on the horizon, and because the sun will be rising right as they come together, it will be difficult to see without the aid of a telescope or binoculars.

In Roman Mythology, Jupiter is the God of light and sky, whereas Venus is the Goddess of love; so if you're looking for a super cute and cheap date idea, check out the Conjunction!

3) The Geminid Meteor Shower - December 13th

This cosmic event occurs once every year. It actually spans across multiple days, but for the best view, you'll want to look at the skies on December 13th when the majority of the meteors will be visible.

The Geminid Meteor Shower is the best Meteor shower of the year because it has by far the most activity. Also, you can view the shooting stars all night long as opposed to most meteor showers where you have to wait until midnight before you start to see anything.To see the meteors as clearly as possible, it's highly recommended that you get somewhere free of man-made lights.

This year we are particularly lucky because the moon will be a waning crescent during the shower! Meaning, the skies will be darker and it will be far easier to see the meteors than last year when the shower had a full moon to compete with.

If you have any wishes you've been saving, December 13th is the night for you! At peak hours it's been reported that as many as 60 - 120 shooting stars can be spotted during the shower!


"Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them." - Marcus Aurelius
Cover Image Credit: Old Farmer's Almanac

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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I Went Paragliding In The Swiss Alps, And It Was Nothing Like I Could Have Ever Imagined

When I woke up in the morning, did I expect to be strapped to a Swiss lady named Judith, and then consequently run down a steep hill at full speed? Nope.

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A lot of people have asked me how my spring break was, and I only thought it would be appropriate to sum up through my paragliding experience.

Paragliding in Switzerland is like football in America. You grow up hearing about it, your brother plays it, and even though you don't really understand the rules sometimes, you are a groupie anyway. Interlaken, especially, is known for paragliding.

Interlaken is a small town in the middle of Switzerland and in the middle of the Swiss Alps. If you take a 30-minute train ride, then you will find yourself close to one of the highest points in Europe. This place is absolutely insane. Like, "pinch me, is this real? I must be dreaming!" insane. Since this place is in the middle of the Alps, there are many opportunities to drive up random mountains, and run down them at full speed with a piece of cloth and a bunch of strings attached to you, because why not!!

So, here's what happens. You register online through a website that has a lot of capital letters and exclamation points, and you arrange a pickup spot where a guy in a van comes and tells you to get in. You then drive up a mountain for about an hour, while a guy with a thick accent and a good sense of humor explains to you how, when you get to the top, you are going to be strapped to an experienced paraglider and then you will collectively run down an extremely steep hill before you become lifted up and air bound.

This is exactly what happens. I was strapped to Judith, and Judith yelled "3, 2, 1, go!!" and I started to run down the steepest hill I have ever seen in my life, at full speed, until I eventually got lifted up, and there I was- air bound in the middle of the Swiss Alps, with a setting that seemed photoshopped.

That was my spring break. When I signed up for paragliding, I didn't expect to be told to run down a steep hill. I didn't expect it to be snowing at the top of the mountain. I didn't expect it to be as impactful as it was. But that's how traveling is. It's surprising, it's enlightening, and it will, quite literally, lift you off of your feet.

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