Sign up for CNN’s Wonder Theory science newsletter. Explore the universe with news about fascinating discoveries, scientific advances and more.
Stunning meteor showers, full moons and eclipses will light up the skies in 2023.
The year is sure to be a celestial delight with many celestial events on the calendar.
A comet discovered in March 2022 will make its closest approach to the sun on January 12, it says OUR. The comet, discovered by astronomers using the Zwicky Transient Facility at Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California, is named C/2022 E3 (ZTF) and will pass closest to Earth on February 2.
The comet should be visible through binoculars in morning skies for most of January in the northern hemisphere and early February in the southern hemisphere, according to NASA.
On any given day, there’s always a good chance that the The International Space Station flies overhead. And if you ever want to know which planets are visible in the morning or evening sky, check it out The Old Farmer’s Almanac Calculator.
Here are the rest of the top celestial events of 2023 so you can get your binoculars and telescope ready.
In most years there are 12 full moons – one for each month. But in 2023 there will be 13 full moons, two of them in August.
The second full moon in a month is called the blue moon, as the expression “once in a blue moon” translates OUR. Typically, full moons occur every 29 days, while most months on our calendar are 30 or 31 days long, so the months and phases of the moon don’t always match. This results in a blue moon about every 2.5 years.
The two full moons in August can therefore also be considered super moons earth sky. Definitions of a supermoon can varybut the term generally denotes a full moon that is brighter and closer to Earth than normal, and therefore appears larger in the night sky.
Some astronomers say the phenomenon occurs when the moon is within 90% of perigee — its closest approach to orbiting Earth. By this definition, the full moon for July is also considered a supermoon event earth sky.
Here is the list of full moons for 2023, according to the Old peasant almanac:
- January 6: Wolf Moon
- February 5: snow moon
- March 7: Worm Moon
- April 6: Pink Moon
- May 5: Flower Moon
- June 3rd: Strawberry Moon
- July 3: Buck moon
- August 1st: sturgeon moon
- August 30: Blue moon
- September 29: Harvest Moon
- October 28: Hunter’s Moon
- November 27: Beaver Moon
- December 26: Cold moon
While these are the popular names associated with the monthly full moon, Each has its own significance to Native American tribes (many of which are referred to by other names).
There will be two solar eclipses and two lunar eclipses in 2023.
AND The total solar eclipse takes place on April 20th, visible to those in Australia, Southeast Asia, and Antarctica. This type of event occurs when the moon moves between the sun and earth and blocks the sun.
And for some skywatchers in Indonesia, parts of Australia, and Papua New Guinea, it will indeed be a hybrid eclipse. The curvature of the Earth’s surface can cause some eclipses to shift between total and annular as the moon’s shadow moves across the globe OUR.
Like a total solar eclipse, the moon moves between the sun and Earth during an annular eclipse — but it occurs when the moon is at or near its furthest point, according to NASA. This makes the moon appear smaller than the sun, so it doesn’t completely obscure our star and creates a glowing ring around the moon.
An annular solar eclipse penetrating the western hemisphere will take place and be on October 14th visible in North, Central and South America.
Be sure to wear proper eclipse glasses to see solar eclipses safely, as the sunlight can damage the eye.
In the meantime a lunar eclipse can only occur during a full moon when the sun, earth, and moon are in alignment and the moon transitions into the earth’s shadow. In this case, the earth casts two shadows on the moon during the eclipse. The partial outer shadow is called the penumbra; the full, dark shadow is the umbra.
As the full moon enters Earth’s shadow, it dims but does not disappear. Instead, sunlight penetrating Earth’s atmosphere dramatically illuminates the moon and turns it red – which is why the event is often referred to as the “Blood Moon.”
Depending on the weather conditions in your area, it may be a rusty or brick red. This happens because blue light is subject to more atmospheric scattering, so red light is the most dominant color, highlighted when sunlight penetrates our atmosphere and casts it onto the moon.
AND Penumbral lunar eclipse will take place on May 5th for those in Africa, Asia and Australia. This less dramatic version of a lunar eclipse occurs when the moon moves through the penumbra, or the faint outer portion of Earth’s shadow.
AND Partial lunar eclipse on October 28th will be visible to people in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, parts of North America and much of South America. Partial eclipses occur when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are not fully aligned, leaving only a portion of the Moon in shadow.
The new year begins with the Quadrantid meteor shower, which is expected to peak in North America during the nighttime hours of January 3-4 American Meteor Society.
It’s the first of 12 meteor showers throughout the year, although the next, the Lyrids meteor shower, doesn’t peak until April.
Here are the peak dates of to see other showers in 2023:
- Lyrids: 22nd-23rd April
- Eta Aquariids: 5th-6th cent. May
- Southern Delta Aquariids: 30th-31st Cent. July
- Alpha Capricornids: 30th-31st July
- Perseids: 12th-13th August
- Orionids: 20th-21st October
- Southern Taurids: 4th-5th Centuries November
- Northern Taurids: 11th-12th Centuries November
- Leonids: 17th-18th Centuries November
- Gemini: 13th-14th December
- Ursids: 21st-22nd December
If you live in an urban area, you might want to go somewhere that isn’t peppered with city lights. If you can find an area that isn’t affected by light pollution, meteors could be visible every few minutes from late evening until dawn.
Find an open area with a wide view of the sky. Make sure you have a chair or blanket so you can look straight up. And give your eyes about 20 to 30 minutes to get used to the dark – without looking at your phone! – so that the meteors are easier to spot.