Donald Trump’s Presidency Will End On The Day Of A Comet, A Meteor Shower And A Total Eclipse Of The Sun
It’s probably not the grand finale he hoped for, but the universe has a big show lined up to mark the official end of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Monday December 14 is set to see a comet, a meteor shower and a total eclipse of the sun visible in some parts of the Earth. It also happens to be the day the Electoral College is set to officially confirm Joe Biden as President-elect. Anyone would think that our solar system is celebrating something.
The day will begin with the Geminids – the biggest and brightest annual meteor shower – which happens to be reaching peak brightness on December 14. A bit later, a total solar eclipse will occur – the first since 2019 – although this one will only be visible in Chile and Argentina.
Funnily enough, the date of this solar eclipse is exactly halfway between two ‘Great American Eclipses’, the first of which saw Trump try to blind himself by looking directly at the sun in 2017, and the second of which will happen toward the end of Biden’s first term in 2024. Almost 12 million people in the States were in the path of the first Great American Eclipse, but with as many as 50 million people are expected to travel to see the Great North American Eclipse in April 2024, it could end up being the most watched total eclipse in history.
Anyone lucky enough to be in South America for this eclipse might also be able to catch a glimpse of the third astronomical event set to light up the sky on Monday. Comet C/2020 S3 (Erasmus), is set to be just 11 degrees from the sun during the eclipse, although it’s not clear whether the comet will actually be bright enough to be visible to the naked eye. The comet in question was discovered in September by astronomer Nicolas Erasmus at the South African Astronomical Observatory, and only passes through the inner Solar System once every 2,000 years.
So, while the United States will only get to experience one of the three events, it’s still a hell of a coincidence that these things are all taking place on the day the Electoral College wraps up the election. President-elect Biden won’t officially be inaugurated for another month, but from Monday Trump will officially be a ‘lame duck’ president. As Jay Pasachoff, Professor of Astronomy at Williams College, Massachusetts, told Forbes, ‘Maybe it takes a total eclipse of the sun to make that official’.
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