This is also the first day of spring vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of fall autumnal equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. March 21 - Full Moon, Supermoon. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Worm Moon because this was the time of year when the ground would begin to soften and the earthworms would reappear.
This is also the last of three supermoons for April 5 - New Moon. April 11 - Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation. The planet Mercury reaches greatest western elongation of This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise. April 19 - Full Moon.
This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Pink Moon because it marked the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the first spring flowers. Many coastal tribes called it the Full Fish Moon because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn. April 22, 23 - Lyrids Meteor Shower. The Lyrids is an average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors per hour at its peak.
The shower runs annually from April It peaks this year on the night of the night of the 22nd and morning of the 23rd. These meteors can sometimes produce bright dust trails that last for several seconds. The waning gibbous moon will block out many of the fainter meteors this year, but if you are patient you should still be able to catch a few of the brightest ones. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Lyra, but can appear anywhere in the sky. May 4 - New Moon.
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May 6, 7 - Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower. The Eta Aquarids is an above average shower, capable of producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. Most of the activity is seen in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, the rate can reach about 30 meteors per hour.
It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet Halley, which has known and observed since ancient times. The shower runs annually from April 19 to May It peaks this year on the night of May 6 and the morning of the May 7.
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The thin crescent moon will set early in the evening leaving dark skies for what should be a good show. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but can appear anywhere in the sky. May 18 - Full Moon, Blue Moon. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Flower Moon because this was the time of year when spring flowers appeared in abundance. Since this is the third of four full moons in this season, it is known as a blue moon. But since full moons occur every The extra full moon of the season is known as a blue moon. Blue moons occur on average once every 2.
June 3 - New Moon.
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June 10 - Jupiter at Opposition. The giant planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. This is the best time to view and photograph Jupiter and its moons.
A medium-sized telescope should be able to show you some of the details in Jupiter's cloud bands. A good pair of binoculars should allow you to see Jupiter's four largest moons, appearing as bright dots on either side of the planet. June 17 - Full Moon. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Strawberry Moon because it signaled the time of year to gather ripening fruit. It also coincides with the peak of the strawberry harvesting season.
June 21 - June Solstice. The June solstice occurs at UTC. The North Pole of the earth will be tilted toward the Sun, which will have reached its northernmost position in the sky and will be directly over the Tropic of Cancer at This is the first day of summer summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of winter winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. June 23 - Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation.
July 2 - New Moon. July 2 - Total Solar Eclipse. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon completely blocks the Sun, revealing the Sun's beautiful outer atmosphere known as the corona. The path of totality will only be visible in parts of the southern pacific Ocean, central Chile, and central Argentina. A partial eclipse will be visible in most parts of the southern Pacific Ocean and western South America.
July 9 - Saturn at Opposition. The ringed planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. This is the best time to view and photograph Saturn and its moons.
A medium-sized or larger telescope will allow you to see Saturn's rings and a few of its brightest moons. July 16 - Full Moon. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Buck Moon because the male buck deer would begin to grow their new antlers at this time of year.
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July 16 - Partial Lunar Eclipse. A partial lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the Earth's partial shadow, or penumbra, and only a portion of it passes through the darkest shadow, or umbra. During this type of eclipse a part of the Moon will darken as it moves through the Earth's shadow.
July 28, 29 - Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower. The Delta Aquarids is an average shower that can produce up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by comets Marsden and Kracht. The shower runs annually from July 12 to August It peaks this year on the night of July 28 and morning of July The waning crescent moon will not be too much of a problem this year.
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The skies should be dark enough for what could be a good show. August 1 - New Moon. August 9 - Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation. August 12, 13 - Perseids Meteor Shower. The Perseids is one of the best meteor showers to observe, producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in The Perseids are famous for producing a large number of bright meteors. The shower runs annually from July 17 to August It peaks this year on the night of August 12 and the morning of August The nearly full moon will block out most of the fainter meteors this year, but the Perseids are so bright and numerous that it could still be a good show.
Meteors will radiate from the constellation Perseus, but can appear anywhere in the sky. August 15 - Full Moon. It includes seven types of grains, such as red bean, red dates and husked rice. There are many different myths regarding this porridge, but all teach the lesson of being grateful and not taking what you have for granted. It is also said that eating ice on this day will prevent any stomachaches for the year. Here is a list of the most important dates for the Chinese New Year:. The Spring Festival is long and has specific activities and traditions for each day.
As usual, they vary between regions. Here is a short summary of what may be on the schedule. In the past, government officials celebrated this day on the 23rd. The waxing crescent Moon sets around p. Observers under a clear dark sky can expect to see up to meteors per hour — an average of two per minute. The meteors appear to radiate from a spot just north of Castor, the bright star in the northern part of the constellation Gemini the Twins.
This region passes nearly overhead from mid-northern latitudes around 2 a. This periodic visitor currently glows between 4th and 5th magnitude — bright enough to glimpse with the naked eye from a dark site and an easy target through binoculars. Wirtanen made its closest approach to the Sun December 12 and will come closest to Earth on the 16th, when it swoops within 7. The comet currently resides among the background stars of Taurus the Bull, between the magnificent Pleaides star cluster M45 and the 1st-magnitude star Aldebaran.
This area remains visible nearly all night, but climbs highest in late evening. The two bright objects dominate the southern sky after darkness falls and remain conspicuous until they set after 11 p. Saturday, December 15 First Quarter Moon occurs at a. It then lies in far southern Pisces, south of the Great Square of Pegasus. The innermost planet shines at magnitude —0. Sunday, December 16 Although the calendar says December, the Summer Triangle of bright stars remains prominent during the early evening.
Look for this large asterism in the western sky after darkness falls. Magnitude 1. Altair sets shortly before 9 p.
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