A new year brings new ideas, goals, trends, and a new sky. Space and the stars in our sky change in an instant and are always moving. This new year is bringing about a lot of notable astronomical events. Since we are all still being recommended to stay indoors and away from people stargazing is a perfect hobby for all. There are ten main events that have already happened and are to come.
The first astronomical event of the new year occurred on January third, and was named the “Quadrantid Meteor Shower”. The Meteor shower lasted about six hours and was easily seen, however, its true glory was masked by the waning gibbous moon. The meteors came in the hundreds and sadly were only visible by the dozens every hour. The meteors were so hot that they glowed a bright stardust blue and sparked the night sky.
The second astronomical event of the new year will occur on March fifth, and we will have the opportunity to observe the meeting of Jupiter and Mercury. While the planets will not intersect, they will only be separated by 35 degrees from our view. The best time to observe these planets will be half an hour before sunrise on March fifth, so a planet watching to start your day may be a new favorite for most.
The third astronomical event of 2021 will be a super moon. On May 25 at 10:00 pm we will be able to view the moon at its closest point to the earth, however, this “super moon” will cause problems. The near coincidence of the moon will cause a dramatically large range of high and low ocean tides. Any coastal storm at sea around this time will almost certainly aggravate coastal flooding problems. Such an extreme tide is known as a perigean spring tide. Which refers to the “spring up” of the water and not the spring season itself.
The fourth astronomical event of 2021 will occur one day after the third. On May 26th we will have a total lunar eclipse. It will favor the Pacific Rim, which includes North America, South America, and the shores of Australia, eastern Asia, and the islands in the pacific. Hawaiians get a great view with the eclipse happening high in their sky in the middle of the night.
The Fifth astrological event of 2021 will occur on June 10, and is called the “Ring of Fire annular solar eclipse”. Because the moon will be situated at a distance of 251,200 miles (404,300 km) from the earth during this “Ring of Fire” solar eclipse, the lunar disk will appear somewhat smaller than the sun. The entire day of June 10 the sun will go through the phases of the moon, and new york, and New England will both be able to witness the sunrise as a crescent.