Biggest astronomical events to look out for in 2024: Checkout the complete list

astronomical events
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Mark Your Calendars: The Astronomical Wonders of 2024 Await!

Calling all stargazers, astronomy enthusiasts, and anyone who just loves a good celestial show! 2024 has some truly mesmerizing astronomical events lined up, and we’re here to give you the complete lowdown so you don’t miss a single shining moment.

Eclipses:

  • April 8th: Witness the awe-inspiring total solar eclipse traversing parts of Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Brace for a few minutes of daytime darkness punctuated by the dazzling corona – a sight to behold!
  • March 25th and October 12th: The moon joins the show with two penumbral lunar eclipses. While not as dramatic as their total counterparts, these events still offer a subtle dimming of the lunar surface for curious observers.

Meteor Showers:

  • April 21-22: The Lyrid meteor shower streaks across the sky, known for its fast, bright meteors with rates averaging 10-15 per hour.
  • May 4-5: The Eta Aquariids peak, particularly favoring viewers in the Southern Hemisphere with rates up to 60 meteors per hour under ideal conditions.
  • July 28-30: Look out for the Delta Aquariids, renowned for their fast, yellowish meteors, with peak rates reaching 20-40 per hour.
  • August: Brace yourself for a meteor double-header! The Perseids (August 9-14) and the Kappa Cygnids (August 16-18) peak around the same time, potentially offering showers for several nights.
  • October 8-9: The Taurid meteor shower offers a more subdued spectacle, with a few meteors per hour glimpsed from dark skies.
  • November 17-18: Another double feature arrives with the Leonids and the Geminids. Although the Leonids can be unpredictable, the Geminids are famous for their reliable display of slow, bright meteors, reaching up to 120 per hour at peak!

Supermoons:

Get ready for four dazzling displays of a moon extra-close and extra-bright. The year kicks off with a Wolf Moon in January, followed by a Strawberry Moon in June, a Buck Moon in July, and a Sturgeon Moon in August.

Bonus wonders:

  • Northern Lights: Throughout the year, keep an eye out for the mesmerizing aurora borealis, especially under clear skies and during solar storms.
  • Planetary Alignments: Several planets will reach opposition throughout the year, meaning they’ll be visible all night long and at their brightest. Get ready for stunning views of Mars in February, Jupiter in September, and Saturn in November.

Major astronomical events of 2024:

DateEventDescription
January 3rdEarth at perihelionEarth reaches its closest point to the Sun.
January 3rd-4thQuadrantids meteor showerUp to 40 meteors per hour under ideal conditions.
January 25thWolf MoonThe first full moon of the year.
February 9thSuper new moonThe closest new moon to Earth, appearing slightly larger and brighter.
March 20thMarch equinoxThe start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.
March 24th-25thPenumbral lunar eclipseA subtle dimming of the Moon’s surface.
April 8thTotal solar eclipseVisible from parts of Mexico, the US, and Canada.
April 21st-22ndLyrid meteor showerFast, bright meteors with rates averaging 10-15 per hour.
May 4th-5thEta Aquariids meteor showerFavoring the Southern Hemisphere with rates up to 60 meteors per hour.
JuneStrawberry MoonNamed for the ripening of wild strawberries.
July 22ndMercury at greatest eastern elongationIts best viewing opportunity of the year.
July 28th-29thDelta Aquariids meteor showerFast, yellowish meteors with peak rates reaching 20-40 per hour.
AugustPerseids and Kappa Cygnids meteor showersPeaking around the same time, potentially offering multiple nights of shooting stars.
September 17thPenumbral lunar eclipseA partial shading of the Moon’s surface.
September 21stNeptune at oppositionAppearing at its brightest for the year.
October 8th-9thTaurid meteor showerA more subdued spectacle with a few meteors per hour.
October 12thPenumbral lunar eclipseAnother opportunity to observe the Moon’s subtle dimming.
October 24thMars at oppositionAppearing at its brightest and closest for the year.
October 31stHalloween Blue MoonThe second full moon in one month.
November 17th-18thLeonids and Geminids meteor showersThe Geminids are famous for their slow, bright meteors, with rates up to 120 per hour at peak.
December 14thMercury at greatest western elongationAnother prime viewing opportunity.

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