This year has already been pretty intense as far as astronomy goes and things are only going to get even more spectacular as time passes. There are tons of wonderful things going on in the sky and you need to know about them.
Below you will find a list of some of the more prominent things to come, everything from meteor showers to crazy moons. All of these things are good reasons to keep your eyes to the sky in the months to come. I cannot wait to experience all of these things and everything else this year has in store for me.
We are currently experiencing something known as a black moon. It means there is no full moon this month. While it may not be as pleasing to look at as a full moon would be the darkness in itself is bringing about a nice view of the stars.
A partial solar eclipse will be visible in southern parts of South America, the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Antarctic. While this will not be as special as the total solar eclipse it will still be pretty cool to see. If you can check it out, do so. While this is not something that happens during the night time it is one of the most special things happening in the sky.
3. March 31st: Blue Moon
There will be a blue moon on March 31st of this year. While the blue moon isn’t actually blue it is beautiful. We do get a quite a few of these, but it is also still infrequent enough to be considered rare.
This meteor shower is expected to peak during the night of April 22nd, but will not be as easy to view as it normally would. This being because of that night also happens to be the night of a First Quarter Moon. With that being said, if you are able to watch you may catch a few shooting stars.
You should be able to see about 25 meteors per hour during peak of this shower. These meteors are originally from Halley’s comet and will be most visible in the early morning hours just before dawn. I for one will be watching this one without a doubt.
The strawberry moon is just what the full moon in June is referred to, but it is still special. It is called a strawberry moon because it coincides with the strawberry picking season in North America. I for one enjoy this full moon every year as it is the perfect weather where I am to sit under the moon and bathe in its energies.
Around sunset, on this day Venus will be visible in the sky. This will be able to be seen close to the thin waxing crescent moon. While you have to look closely this is a very interesting and fun thing to experience.
The second lunar eclipse of this year will also be a total one. This is also known as a blood moon and will be visible in most of Europe. While most of us will only be able to see part of this eclipse it is still beautiful. Blood moons have always fascinated me.
The peak of this shower will be on the night of the 12th. This is one of the most active and brightest showers we have each year, and it is so much fun to watch. If you only pick one shower to check out from this list, let this one be the one.
The harvest moon is another annual event. It is the first full moon after the autumn equinox. It generally tends to happen in September for the most part, but sometimes it is a bit off. Whether you care about it being harvest or not full moons are always fun to look at and bring about a great deal of energy.
This shower is generally visible just before nightfall. While you will need to check the weather usually this one is a bit harder to see. The Draconid is either full and spectacular or almost impossible to see, there isn’t much of an in-between with this one.
This is the second meteor shower in October. It usually produces around 20 meteors per hour but can reach up to 80 per hour. People in both the southern and northern hemisphere will be able to watch this one. I know I will be.
This shower gets its name from the constellation it seems to come from. It has been known on occasion to spit out over one thousand meteors per hour, but that has not happened in quite some time. If you are up this is a sight worth seeing.
This meteor shower is the last major display for the year as far as bright things go. It is expected that this shower will be quite the show and I cannot wait to see it. There might be up to 100 meteors per hour and while peak is on the night of the 13th you will be able to see shooting stars from December 4th until peak if you look close enough.
This shower is a bit of a let down for some, but for me, any and all shooting stars are worth seeing. This will be the last major shower of the year and it will peak between the night of the 22nd and the morning of the 23rd. The Ursids are one of the most interesting and yet still overlooked showers we have.H