2019: What This Year Has in Store for us

by Jason Campbell, Jan 2019

2018 seems like one of those years where everything happened. We had the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War I, Apple became the first publicly listed company to reach a valuation of $1 trillion and, most importantly, we finally confirmed that 228 million years ago, turtles lived without shells. However, 2019 is shaping up to be just as, if not more, eventful as 2018. Here are a few of the events that will probably take place in 2019:

On the 6th of June, the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings will take place. ‘Operation Overlord’ was a joint seaborne invasion of Nazi Germany with the immediate goal of liberating France. Many countries were involved in the operation, however it was predominantly carried out by troops from the UK, USA and Canada. The result was a decisive allied victory, despite the fact that at least 14,000 casualties were recorded from both sides, 10,000 of which were allied soldiers.

The UN General Assembly has designated 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, due to it being the 150th anniversary of its creation by Dmitri Mendeleev. The first table consisted of 60 elements. Since then, we have discovered a further 58 elements, brining us to a grand total of 118 elements. The table has also since been colour coded to group elements sharing similar properties together, such as the Halogen Gases on the right and the Alkaline Metals on the left, for example.

2019 will also see two eclipses: An annular eclipse visible from South Asia and a total eclipse visible from South America. These are expected to occur on the 26th of December and the 2nd of July respectively. The difference between these two types of eclipses is that a total eclipse involves the entire sun being obscured by the moon, whereas in the case of an annular eclipse, a bright ring will be visible around the moon.

Sticking with the theme of celestial bodies, the inner planet Mercury will transit across the sun on the 11th of November. The next transit of Mercury after this one will take place in 2032. If you plan on observing the transit, make sure to find out if it will be visible from where you live. More importantly, Mercury will not be visible with the naked eye. You will need binoculars or a telescope with proper sun protection. Never look directly at the sun. 

In other news, Emperor Akihito is set to abdicate from the Japanese throne on the 30th of April. This will make him the first Japanese monarch to do so in over two centuries. This will mark the end of the Heisei period. We will probably see numerous festivities over 2019 to celebrate his successor, Crown Prince Naruhito.

Moreover, if all goes to plan, the UK will leave the European Union on the 29th of March. In 1973, Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath took the UK into the European Economic Community, after membership was blocked twice in the 1960’s by France. The EEC was incorporated into the EU in 1993. However, a referendum in 2016 saw the UK vote to leave the European Union, which a member state has never done before. 

We will also see a new royal baby in 2019. The first child of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is due in around spring and according to Ladbrokes, there is a 5/6 chance that Meghan gives birth in March.

There will also various general and parliamentary elections across the world, including elections in Nigeria, the Philippines, Israel and Indonesia.

It certainly seems that 2019 will be a hectic year and we can only wait and see the unplanned surprises it has for us!