Mark your calendar: 5 must-see astronomy events in 2017

January 15, 2017 - Supermoon

Stargazers around a creation will be treated to a accumulation of astronomical events in 2017, trimming from a fantastic supermoon to a aristocrat of all meteor showers.

The many expected eventuality of a year will be a sum solar eclipse, a initial that will be seen in decades opposite a United States.

1. Penumbral Lunar Eclipse, Feb. 11, 2017

The initial vast astronomical eventuality of 2017 takes place during a second weekend of Feb and will be manifest opposite many of a world.

On a night of Friday, Feb. 10, into a early morning hours of Saturday, Feb. 11, people from executive Asia to a Americas will be means to see a penumbral lunar eclipse.

A penumbral lunar obscure is not as conspicuous as a sum lunar obscure as a moon usually passes by a outdoor prejudiced of a Earth’s shadow. This formula in pointed shading over one prejudiced of a moon’s surface.

Those opposite a United States will not be means to perspective a whole eventuality though will still be means to watch a second prejudiced of a obscure after a moon rises in a evening.

Penumbral lunar eclipse

(Facebook photo/Dana W.)

2. Jupiter Opposition, Apr 7, 2017

The largest world in a solar complement will seem unusually splendid in a night sky this spring, outshining each other planet.

On Apr 7, Jupiter will strech opposition, a indicate in a circuit where it is closest to a Earth. This is a best time of year to perspective Jupiter as it will be brighter than normal. During this event, a world will also be manifest via a whole night.

The weeks heading adult to and immediately following antithesis will also be ideal for observation a planet, so stargazers can select a night with optimal continue to conduct outward to perspective Jupiter.


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Jupiter can be noticed by a unaided eye; however, those with a telescope or good span of binoculars will be in for an additional treat.

Depending on a strength of a binoculars or telescope, onlookers will be means to see Jupiter’s 4 largest moons: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

Stronger apparatus might also concede people to see a colored cloud bands of Jupiter and maybe even a famous Great Red Spot, a large, hurricanelike charge on Jupiter that has been churning for hundreds of years.

3. Total Solar Eclipse, Aug. 21, 2017

Day will spin into night opposite a United States on Aug. 21, as a nation practice a initial sum solar obscure in decades.

On this day, a moon will pass directly between a Earth and a sun, casting a shade on a United States that will lane from Oregon to South Carolina.

This will be a initial time given 1918 that a sum solar obscure will be manifest from a West Coast to a East Coast of a United States. The many new sum solar obscure manifest in a United States occurred in 1979; however, it was usually manifest opposite a Pacific Northwest.

Total solar obscure


The best area to perspective a obscure will be along a slight trail that stretches opposite a nation from Oregon to South Carolina. It is in this area that people will be means to see a moon totally retard out a sun.

People that are not in this area should still symbol their calendars as a prejudiced solar obscure will be manifest opposite a rest of a United States, as good as tools of Canada and Mexico.

August obscure trail map

(Image/NASA/Goddard/SVS/Ernie Wright)

It is intensely critical that anyone formulation to watch a obscure do so with a span of obscure eyeglasses or a specially-made solar filter.

Looking during a object but a correct eye-wear can be damaging and lead to permanent eye damage. Even a customary span of sunglasses does not yield a correct insurance for safely observation a solar eclipse.

People in a eastern United States that skip a obscure in Aug will have another event to declare a solar obscure in 8 years.

On Apr 8, 2024, a sum solar obscure will be manifest opposite a eastern United States with a trail of assemblage reaching from Texas to Maine.

4. Supermoon, Dec. 3, 2017

After a year featuring three-consecutive supermoons, usually one supermoon is in store for 2017.

A supermoon is a full moon that appears incomparable and brighter than normal. It occurs when a full moon falls nearby or on perigee, a indicate in a moon’s circuit where it is closest to a Earth. Ocean tides will also be somewhat aloft than normal during a supermoon.

The sole supermoon of 2017 will tumble on a night of Dec. 3. This will also be a final full moon of a year.

Supermoon Nov 2016


The best time to perspective and sketch a supermoon will be shortly after it rises when it is still tighten to a horizon. When a moon is nearby a horizon, an apparition occurs that creates it seem even incomparable than it indeed is.

The full moon in Dec also goes by many opposite names, including a Full Cold Moon, a Long Nights Moon and Moon Before Yule.

5. Geminid meteor shower, Dec. 13, 2017

While there are many meteor showers via a year, including a Persied meteor showering and a Eta Aquarids meteor shower, a Geminid meteor showering tops them all.

The Geminid meteor showering is infrequently referred to as a aristocrat of all meteor showers, producing 120 multi-colored meteors an hour during a peak. This is some-more than any other meteor showering in a standard year.

The Geminids will rise on a a night of Dec. 13 and into a early morning hours of Dec. 14.

And this year’s Geminid meteor showering is already looking some-more earnest than final year.

In 2016, a rise of a showering fell on a same night as a supermoon. Light wickedness from a brighter-than-normal moon severely reduced a series of sharpened stars that were visible.

This year paints a opposite design with a rise of a showering descending only a few days before a new moon, that will emanate a dim backdrop. Onlookers won’t have to contend with combined light wickedness from a moon.

Questions or comments? Email Brian Lada during and be certain to follow him on Twitter!

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