The two worlds will appear to be separated by only 18 arc-minutes, or about equal to the apparent width of a half-lit moon. Since this conjunction event will take place so low to the horizon, the planets will be battling the glare of the morning twilight, and binoculars will make viewing more enjoyable. The annual Geminid meteor shower will reach its peak activity this night for viewers in the Americas.
The Geminids are known to be quite prolific, with rates as high as 60 to shooting stars an hour at peak times. Once the moon sets, the best viewing will be in the predawn hours of December 14—exactly when the shower is predicted to reach its peak performance. Follow him on Twitter , Facebook , and his website. Read Caption. Top 7 Must-See Sky Events for Get ready to see an amazing eclipse, a comet encounter, close planetary pairings, and more celestial wonders.
By Andrew Fazekas. Meteor Showers Meteor showers bring interplanetary debris, ranging from pebbles to boulders, into Earth's atmosphere. Find out how these dazzling displays come about. The crescent moon will make a neat triangle with two planets in March. Jupiter and the moon will make an especially close pairing in April. The bright planets Venus and Jupiter will be exceptionally close in our skies in November. 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.
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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.
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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.
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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. 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.
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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. 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. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Sturgeon Moon because the large sturgeon fish of the Great Lakes and other major lakes were more easily caught at this time of year. August 30 - New Moon. September 9 - Neptune at Opposition. The blue giant 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 Neptune. Due to its extreme distance from Earth, it will only appear as a tiny blue dot in all but the most powerful telescopes.
September 14 - Full Moon. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Corn Moon because the corn is harvested around this time of year. This moon is also known as the Harvest Moon. The Harvest Moon is the full moon that occurs closest to the September equinox each year. September 23 - September Equinox. The September equinox occurs at UTC. This is also the first day of fall autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of spring vernal equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. September 28 - New Moon. October 8 - Draconids Meteor Shower.
The Draconids is a minor meteor shower producing only about 10 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust grains left behind by comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner, which was first discovered in The Draconids is an unusual shower in that the best viewing is in the early evening instead of early morning like most other showers. The shower runs annually from October and peaks this year on the the night of the 8th.
The first quarter moon will set shortly after midnight leaving fairly dark skies for observing. Best viewing will be in the early evening from a dark location far away from city lights. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Draco, but can appear anywhere in the sky. October 13 - Full Moon. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Hunters Moon because at this time of year the leaves are falling and the game is fat and ready to hunt.
This moon has also been known as the Travel Moon and the Blood Moon.