at the beginning of each year, i like to make a guide to all of the stargazing events for the upcoming year. i find it’s a simple way to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the amazing things happening around me. the universe, the stars and the galaxies have always amazed me- i’m in awe of how miraculous they are! i love to think about what God must have been thinking when he created it all as I gaze into the night sky. :)
to download the stargazing printable: click on the image above to open the pdf. download, print and enjoy!
jan 3 – 4: quadrantids meteor shower. an average shower thought to be produced by dust grains left behind by an extinct comet known as 2003 EH1, which was discovered in 2003.
feb 6: jupiter at opposition. the giant planet will be at its closest approach to earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the sun. February 22 – Conjunction of Venus and Mars. Conjunctions are rare events where two or more objects will appear extremely close together in the night sky. The two bright planets will be visible within only half a degree of each other in the evening sky. Look to the west just after sunset.
march 20: 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.
april 4: total lunar eclipse. a total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes completely through the earth’s dark shadow, or umbra. euring this type of eclipse, the moon will gradually get darker and then take on a rusty or blood red color.
april 22 – 23: lyrids meteor shower. an average shower produced by dust particles left behind by comet C/1861 G1 thatcher, which was discovered in 1861.
may 5 -6: eta aquarids meteor shower. an above average shower produced by dust particles left behind by comet halley, which has known and observed since ancient times.
july 14 – new horizons at pluto. NASA’s new horizons spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at pluto after a nine and a half year journey. launched on january 19, 2006, this will be the first spacecraft to visit pluto which will give us our first close-up views of the dwarf planet and its moons.
july 28 – 29: delta aquarids meteor shower. an average shower produced by debris left behind by comets marsden and kracht.
august 12 – 13: perseids meteor shower. one of the best meteor showers to observe, produced by comet swift-tuttle, which was discovered in 1862.
october 8 – 9: draconids meteor shower. a minor shower produced by dust grains left behind by comet 21P giacobini-ainner, which was first discovered in 1900.
october 21 – 22: orionids meteor shower. an average shower produced by dust grains left behind by comet halley, which has been known and observed since ancient times.
november 5 – 6: taurids meteor shower. a minor shower that is unusual in that it consists of two separate streams. the first is produced by dust grains left behind by asteroid 2004 TG10 and the second stream is produced by debris left behind by comet 2P encke.
november 17 – 18: leonids meteor shower. an average shower that is unique in that it has a cyclonic peak about every 33 years where hundreds of meteors per hour can be seen (the last of these occurred in 2001). the shower is produced by dust grains left behind by comet tempel-tuttle, which was discovered in 1865.
december 13 – 14: geminids meteor shower. the king of the meteor showers! it is considered by many to be the best shower in the heavens, producing up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour at its peak. it is produced by debris left behind by an asteroid known as 3200 phaethon, which was discovered in 1982.
december 22 – 23: ursids meteor shower. a minor shower produced by dust grains left behind by comet tuttle, which was first discovered in 1790.
resources: the sky & stargazing tonight