When it comes to the night sky, you can see something spectacular almost every night. Each year brings its own rare and unmissable celestial events, and 2021 and 2022 are no exceptions. We’ve prepared this astronomy calendar for 2021-2022 to help you plan ahead for all of the best stargazing and astronomical events occurring before the end of 2022!
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Our complete guide to astronomical events for 2021-2022 is available here as an interactive flip-booklet (click to view full-screen):
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If you would rather read a “plain text” version of our astronomical events calendar 2021-2022, keep reading… the rest of this page is for you!
- 2021 – Astronomical Events Calendar (July to December)
- August 11th to 12th – the Perseid Meteor Shower
- November 18th/19th – Partial Lunar Eclipse
- 2022 – Astronomical Events Calendar
- February 15th to April 14th – Mars Dances
- May 15th/16th – Total Lunar Eclipse
- May 18th to June 8th – Mars Passes Jupiter
- August 14th – Saturn at Opposition
- August 19th – The Moon Between Mars and the Pleiades
- September 26th – Jupiter at Opposition
- November 8th – Total Lunar Eclipse
- December 8th – Mars at Opposition
- December 13th to 14th – The Geminid Meteor Shower
- Final Thoughts | Astronomical Events Calendar 2021-2022
2021 – Astronomical Events Calendar (July to December)
The second half of 2021 provides us with a wide range of breathtaking astronomical events!
Besides a number of opportunities to see each of the five naked-eye planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn), you can catch the Perseid meteor shower and a near-total eclipse of the Moon. The list below includes some of the best stargazing & astronomical events remaining in 2021!
July 1st to 23rd – Venus & Mars
These two planets have slowly drawn closer together over the past few months. Venus is gradually moving away from the Sun, while slower-moving Mars is losing ground. As a result, the gap between the two has closed.
You can easily see them both to the west after sunset with just your eyes, but if you have regular 10×50 binoculars, you’ll see that they fit within the same field of view from July 1st to the 23rd. Better still, you can see them within the same low-powered telescopic field of view from the 11th to the 14th, with the pair at their closest on June 13th.
August 11th to 12th – the Perseid Meteor Shower
We have two meteor showers guaranteed to put on a good show every year. The first of these, the Perseids, reaches its peak in the early hours of August 12th, but you could begin your meteor watch as soon as it gets dark on the 11th.
To see the most shooting stars, be sure to get away from the bright lights of a town or city and look towards the north and east. (See our best places for stargazing for some ideas.) Under ideal conditions, you could expect to see around 100 meteors an hour, and with the Moon a crescent in the evening sky, it shouldn’t brighten the sky too much.
October 25th – Mercury & Venus at Their Best
Mercury is an elusive planet, and you have to know when and where to look for it. It reaches its greatest distance from the Sun today and can be seen with the naked eye in the predawn twilight. You can find it relatively easily, low over the eastern horizon at about thirty minutes before sunrise.
Coincidentally, Venus is almost furthest from the Sun in the evening sky and appears as a brilliant white “star” in the southwest for several hours after sunset. If you have a telescope, both planets will appear roughly 50% illuminated, like a half Moon.
November 18th/19th – Partial Lunar Eclipse
There’s no total lunar eclipse in the second half of 2021, but November’s partial eclipse is almost as good. With 97% of its disc in eclipse, you’ll see a sliver of silvery light along its southern edge.
Partial eclipse begins at 2:18am ET on the 19th (11:18pm PT on the 18th) with mid-eclipse occurring at 4:02am ET (1:02am PT). Best of all, the eclipsed Moon will be within the same binocular field of view as the Pleiades star cluster, making this a sight worth staying up for.
December 6th to 8th – A Crescent Moon & Planets
Three planets become visible in the evening twilight at the end of the year: Venus, Saturn and Jupiter. You’ll find them almost equally spaced out toward the southwest after sunset, with the Moon passing by each of them from the 6th to the 8th.
It all starts on the 6th, when the three-day-old crescent Moon appears just to the lower left of Venus. The following night, you’ll find it to the lower left of Saturn (the faintest of the three) and then, lastly, on the 8th, the Moon appears below brilliant Jupiter.
2022 – Astronomical Events Calendar
2022 promises to be a great year for astronomy, with a number of planets appearing close to one another, two lunar eclipses, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn at their best and, lastly, the Geminid meteor shower. (You can also see the Perseids around August 12th, but the full Moon will brighten the sky and make it harder to see the fainter shooting stars.) Mark your calendar now for these great night sky sights and astronomical events in 2022.
February 15th to April 14th – Mars Dances
Mars, the red planet, starts the year in the predawn morning sky and dances with both Venus and Saturn between mid-February and mid-April. It’ll appear within the same binocular field of view of at least one of those planets the entire time.
Mars draws closest to Venus on March 16th, but get up early between March 27th and April 1st to see Venus, Mars and Saturn together within the same binocular field of view (and look out for a crescent Moon below the trio on the 28th.) Mars and Saturn then appear within the same low-powered telescopic field of view between April 3rd and 6th, with the pair at their closest on the 5th. Not to be missed!
(Also look out for Jupiter rising above the eastern horizon in April, with a crescent Moon visiting the planets from April 25th to 27th.)
April 24th to May 7th – Jupiter & Venus
Once Venus has left Saturn and Mars behind, it meets up with Jupiter for another close encounter in the predawn twilight. These are the two brightest planets and will be easily seen over the eastern horizon about half an hour before sunrise.
They’ll appear within the same binocular field of view for the two weeks between April 24th and May 7th, with both planets being visible within the same low-powered telescopic field of view from April 29th to May 1st. They’ll be at their closest on April 30th.
May 15th/16th – Total Lunar Eclipse
The first of two total lunar eclipses occurs on the evening of the 15th and early hours of the 16th, but for observers in North America, you’ll need to be in the eastern half of the continent to see the eclipse from start to finish. The partial phase begins at 10:27pm ET (7:27pm PT) with totality beginning at 11:29pm ET. That’s 8:29pm PT, so observers on the west coast could see an orange, eclipsed Moon rising!
Mid-eclipse occurs at 12:11am on the 16th for observers on the East Coast, or 9:11pm PT on the 15th for those on the West Coast. Totality then ends at 12:53am ET (9:53pm PT) with the partial eclipse ending slightly more than an hour later. Look out for coppery Antares to the lower left of the Moon!
May 18th to June 8th – Mars Passes Jupiter
Both Mars and Jupiter have already appeared close to Venus, but now it’s time for them to pass one another! You’ll find them within the same 10×50 binocular field of view from mid-May to early June, with the two appearing within the same low-powered telescopic field of view from May 27th to May 31st. They’ll draw closest on May 29th.
You can easily see Jupiter as a small disc, but Mars will only appear star-like.
August 14th – Saturn at Opposition
Saturn is now “at opposition”, but what exactly does this mean? It’s literally opposite the Sun in the sky, so it rises at sunset and sets at sunrise. It’s therefore visible throughout the entire night and is at its brightest and best for the year!
This year, it’s among the relatively faint stars of Capricornus, but you can find it as a reasonably bright yellow-white “star.” Telescopically, you can easily see the planet’s rings and a handful of its brightest moons, including Titan. Titan’s the second largest moon in the solar system (after Jupiter’s Ganymede) and larger than the planet Mercury!
August 19th – The Moon Between Mars and the Pleiades
Here’s something you won’t see every day (or night) – the Moon, Mars and the Pleiades star cluster within the same 10×50 binocular field of view! The Pleiades is a beautiful star cluster that’s a fine sight in both binoculars and a telescope. You can find it in the constellation Taurus where it lies close to the ecliptic, the path the Sun, Moon and planets follow as they move across the sky.
It’s not unusual for the Moon or a planet to appear close to the Pleiades, but it’s rare for both the Moon and a planet to be nearby at the same time. You’ll need to get up early (about 90 minutes before sunrise) to see the Pleiades clearly, but it should be worth the effort!
September 26th – Jupiter at Opposition
Saturn reached opposition on August 14th, and now it’s Jupiter’s turn. You’ll find it among the faint stars of Aquarius, where it shines as an unmissable golden “star” towards the south around midnight. (Alternatively, look toward the east after sunset or toward the south-east around mid-evening.)
Through a telescope, you can easily see its four largest moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, not to mention the dark bands of its cloud tops. If you have a larger telescope, you may even be able to spot the famous Great Red Spot, a hurricane-like storm that’s large enough to swallow the entire Earth!
November 8th – Total Lunar Eclipse
While May’s total lunar eclipse was best suited for observers in the eastern half of North America, November’s is the opposite. Observers on the West Coast can see the eclipse from start to finish, while those in the Mid-West and on the East Coast will miss out on its conclusion. Either way, if you live in North America you’ll need to get up early to enjoy it.
Partial eclipse begins at 4:09am ET (1:09am PT) with totality beginning at 5:16am ET (2:16am PT) and maximum eclipse occurring at 5:59am ET (2:59am PT). That’s coming up on sunrise/moonset on the East Coast. Totality comes to an end at 6:41am ET (3:41am PT) and the partial phase finishes at 8:56am ET (5:56am PT).
December 8th – Mars at Opposition
Unlike Jupiter and Saturn, which typically reach opposition once a year, Mars is only at its best once every two years or so. Fortunately, 2022 is one of those years, and while Mars is not as close as it could be, it’s still well worth taking a look through a telescope!
If you’re observing with just your eyes, it’ll appear as a brilliant, coppery “star” in the constellation of Taurus. Binoculars won’t improve the view, but through a telescope you’ll see a small disc (less than half the size of Jupiter) and possibly some dark surface markings. You’ll need a telescope aperture greater than 5” to get a good look; an 8” aperture would let you take in some of the surface features.
December 13th to 14th – The Geminid Meteor Shower
We end our astronomical events calendar for 2022 with fireworks – in this case, the Geminid meteor shower. While this has always been a reliable source of shooting stars, over recent years the Geminids have been producing more than usual. Under ideal conditions, or at a dark sky sitefar away from the lights of a town or city (and with the constellation Gemini high overhead), you could see as many as 120 meteors an hour!
You can start your search on December 13th. The Moon, about six days past full, won’t rise until around 10:30pm, so its light won’t brighten the sky and drown out the fainter meteors. You’ll want to look to the northeast and southeast for your best chance to seeing some shooting stars.
Final Thoughts | Astronomical Events Calendar 2021-2022
We hope you’ve enjoyed our astronomy calendar and guide to some of the best celestial events in 2021-2022. If you want to learn more about astronomy and get the perfect telescope for your needs, be sure to check out some of our beginner guides on this site!
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*** Special thanks to Richard Bartlett & Laboni Hasan ***
Images created using SkySafari Pro by Curriculum Software
In 2022 the night sky promises to be full of cosmic wonders. A pair of total lunar eclipses—nicknamed “blood moons” for the deep shade of red the moon turns when bathed in Earth's shadow—will be visible to billions. Brilliant shooting stars will streak across the heavens with no bright moon to drown out the light.What can I see in the sky at night? ›
The brightest objects visible in the night sky are Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn. Planets move around the sun at different speeds. When combined with Earth's own movement, that means you can see different planets at different spots in the sky at different times of the year.What will you see in space 2022? ›
Astronomers everywhere will welcome 2022 with open arms, ready to embrace a new astronomical calendar bursting with comets, occultations, meteor showers and supermoons. Many of these exciting events will be visible with the naked eye or a pair of binoculars, and there will also be occasions when a telescope is needed.What planet is visible in the night sky right now? ›
Visible planets (evening)
Saturn is high in the sky after sunset – golden in color, shining steadily – perfect for observing in the evening. Jupiter is easy to spot, brighter than all the stars.
Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky. UPDATE: This article was published in January 2022—if you're reading this in August/September 2022 then here's what you need to know about the very bright “star” in the east after dark.What is the most beautiful thing in the night sky? ›
To the eye alone, though, there's nothing more beautiful than a bright moon shining in the night sky, casting its light and creating moon shadows in the landscape all around you.What is the biggest thing in the night sky? ›
First there's the Milky Way Galaxy stretching a full 360° around the sky.What is the biggest thing in the Universe 2022? ›
The absolute largest thing in the universe is the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall, which is about 10 billion light-years across. As far as we know, the absolute largest thing in the universe is the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall.Is a comet coming in 2022? ›
Halley's Comet hasn't been seen in the inner solar system since 1986 and yet this month will be responsible for one of the finest meteor showers of 2022.What is the name of the new planet discovered in 2022? ›
October 13, 2022
The new planets are TOI-411 b & c (super-Earth and sub-Neptune), KOI-7368 b (a.k.a. Kepler-1974 b, a sub-Neptune), KOI-7913 b (a.k.a. Kepler-1975 b, a sub-Neptune), TOI-5542 b (an old, warm Jupiter), KIC 3526061 b (roughly 18 Jupiter masses!), and the trio of giants HD 184010 b, c, & d.
The Atacama Desert is not only the best place to see the Milky Way in America, in the entire Southern Hemisphere. The conditions in this desert are very special. It's the driest nonpolar desert in the world with an average of 330 clear nights per year.What time of the night can you see the Milky Way? ›
Generally speaking, the best time to see the Milky Way is during the Milky Way season, which goes from February to October, usually between 00:00 and 5:00, and on nights with a new moon.What planet is most visible at night? ›
Venus can often be seen within a few hours after sunset or before sunrise as the brightest object in the sky (other than the moon). It looks like a very bright star. Venus is the brightest planet in the Solar System.What is the bright star next to the moon? ›
What is the star by the moon? The light isn't actually a star, despite sometimes being referred to as the Evening Star - instead it's the planet Venus and it's the second closest planet to the sun.What is the first star you see at night? ›
Why is Venus called “the Morning Star” or “the Evening Star?” Venus shines so brightly that it is the first “star” to appear in the sky after the Sun sets, or the last to disappear before the Sun rises. Its orbital position changes, thus causing it to appear at different times of the night throughout the year.What is the large bright star in the sky? ›
The brightest star in the night sky is the Sirius star. According to NASA, it is over 20 times brighter than our sun and twice as massive, though it might not appear that way to the naked eye.What is the brightest star at night called? ›
Bottom line: Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky as seen from Earth and is visible from both hemispheres. It lies just 8.6 light-years away in the constellation Canis Major the Greater Dog.What are the five brightest objects in the night sky? ›
This month, the five brightest planets in our solar system align and be visible in the night sky. For the second time this year, the five brightest planets in our solar system — Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars — will be visible in the night sky at the same time.What is the easiest deep sky object to see? ›
The great thing about the Orion Nebula is that not only is it a beautiful target to image, it's probably the easiest deep sky object to find because it's visible to the naked eye just below Orion's Belt.What are the 2 brightest stars in the night sky? ›
If you are far enough south on Earth's globe, you can see the sky's 2nd-brightest star, Canopus, below the sky's brightest star, Sirius.
Yes, Jupiter is the second brightest planet in our sky. Venus is always the brightest and no planet will ever surpass it in brightness unless it goes supernova.What is the most bright thing in the universe? ›
Although quasars appear faint when viewed from Earth, they are visible from extreme distances, being the most luminous objects in the known universe.What is the biggest thing ever seen? ›
The biggest single entity that scientists have identified in the universe is a supercluster of galaxies called the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall. It's so wide that light takes about 10 billion years to move across the entire structure.Which stars Look the largest and brightest in the night sky? ›
Blue stars are by far the biggest and brightest stars in the galaxy. To the naked eye, the stars in the night sky all look very similar to each other, the main difference between them being that some are brighter than others.What are the only two other objects in the night sky? ›
Moon and the stars are the celestial objects which we can see easily in the night sky.What is bigger than the universe? ›
No, the universe contains all solar systems, and galaxies. Our Sun is just one star among the hundreds of billions of stars in our Milky Way Galaxy, and the universe is made up of all the galaxies – billions of them.What is the biggest black hole in the universe 2022? ›
The largest black hole ever found in the known universe is found in Ton 618. This is a hyper luminous Lyman-alpha blob that has a black hole that measures 6.6×1010 solar masses. It has a mass that equals about 66 billion times that of the Sun. This supermassive black hole is some 18.2 billion light-years from Earth.What is the smallest thing in our universe? ›
Protons and neutrons make up the core, or nucleus, while teeny electrons cloud about the nucleus. Protons and neutrons can be further broken down: they're both made up of things called “quarks.” As far as we can tell, quarks can't be broken down into smaller components, making them the smallest things we know of.Will an asteroid hit the Earth in 2022? ›
It has since been confirmed that 2022 AE1 will not impact Earth and has been removed from ESA's risk list. So, what's the story behind the excitement, and how can we trust this seemingly 'meandering' impact risk?How likely would a comet hit Earth? ›
Not much in our lifetimes -- perhaps 1 in 10,000 -- but over thousands or millions of years, major impacts become pretty likely. Ancient craters on Earth's surface prove that large objects have hit Earth in the past, and there's no reason to think this won't continue in the future.
Halley's Comet is not due back in 2022. It is due back in 2061 and will be visible in July and August. The reason it will not appear in 2022 is that the comet has an orbital period of 660,000 hours, which is approximately 75-76 years.What are the 2 new planets called? ›
Tel Aviv University researchers led the recent discovery of two new planets in remote solar systems within the Milky Way galaxy. They identified the giant planets, named Gaia-1b and Gaia-2b, as part of a study in collaboration with teams from the European Space Agency (ESA) and the body's Gaia spacecraft.Where is super-Earth located? ›
Super-Earth is located 37 light-years from us. Scientists have discovered a Super-Earth that is four times the mass of our planet and takes just 10.8 days to complete a whole year. According to the American space agency NASA, the exoplanet, called Ross 508 b, was discovered using a new infrared monitoring technique.What was the last found planet? ›
Astronomers find a new planet that's mostly made of iron
NASA's satellite found planet LP 890-9b, which is about 30% larger than Earth and orbits its sun in just 2.7 days.
When it is dark enough, and conditions are clear, the dusty ring of the Milky Way can certainly be discerned in the night sky. However, we can still only see about 6,000 light years into the disk with the naked eye, and relying on the visible spectrum. Here's a rundown on why that is.What is the darkest place on Earth? ›
Using 11 million photometers from 44 of the darkest places, the study concluded that Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, also located in the Canary Islands, is the darkest place on Earth.Where is the best place to see a sky full of stars? ›
Thanks in part to its extreme weather conditions, in addition to its location far from major cities, Death Valley is a perfect site for stargazing. Death Valley is the largest dark sky reserve in the U.S. designated by the International Dark Sky Association.Where can I see galaxies in the sky? ›
To spot a galaxy, you'll need:
- a very dark night sky, away from the city lights. Look for nights near the new Moon. See our Moon phase calendar.
- a telescope that's 6 inches or greater.
- an astronomer app is always helpful to locate constellations more easily.
Our Sun is one of at least 100 billion stars in the Milky Way, a spiral galaxy about 100,000 light-years across. And where are we in the Milky Way? Our Sun lies near a small, partial arm called the Orion Arm, or Orion Spur, located between the Sagittarius and Perseus arms.Do we see stars or galaxies in the night sky? ›
All the stars we see in the night sky are in our own Milky Way Galaxy. Our galaxy is called the Milky Way because it appears as a milky band of light in the sky when you see it in a really dark area. It is very difficult to count the number of stars in the Milky Way from our position inside the galaxy.
At 2.5 million light-years from Earth, the Andromeda Galaxy is the most distant object visible with the naked eye. It's the closest major galaxy to the Milky Way, and can only be seen if you have a really dark sky.What galaxies can you see at night? ›
- Andromeda Galaxy (Messier 31) ...
- Triangulum Galaxy (Messier 33) ...
- Bode's Galaxy (Messier 81) ...
- Cigar Galaxy (Messier 82) ...
- Sombrero Galaxy (Messier 104) ...
- Cat's Eye Galaxy (Messier 94) ...
- Large Magellanic Cloud. ...
- Small Magellanic Cloud.
Answer: Yes, you can see a few other galaxies without using a telescope! Our nearest neighbors, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, are easy to see from the southern hemisphere. However, one of the most beautiful galaxies we can see with the naked eye is visible in the night sky all this month (November).Is there a meteor shower tonight 2022? ›
The 2022 Leonid meteor shower peaks over the night of November 17-18. You may also see increased numbers of meteors a few days before and after the peak. To watch, go to the darkest place you can, let your eyes adjust, and spend some time looking at the sky.Is there a comet coming in 2022? ›
Halley's Comet hasn't been seen in the inner solar system since 1986 and yet this month will be responsible for one of the finest meteor showers of 2022.Can supernova 2022 appear? ›
While scientists are confident a supernova will occur in 2022, whether it occurs in our galaxy is a different matter. In any given year, it is an unlikely prospect. On the other hand, one day it may just happen in our galactic neighbourhood.Whats in the night sky May 2022? ›
May's night sky will be filled with exciting things to see including Venus and Jupiter shining brightly together. There's a total lunary eclipse mid-month and a possible new meteor shower toward the end of the month! Bookmark this page so you can easily refer to it over the next few weeks.What is the closest meteor to Earth 2022? ›
One of them, 2022 AP7, is roughly a mile long, and its orbit crosses Earth's path around the sun, getting as near as 4.4 million miles to Earth itself — uncomfortably close by cosmic standards (although far more distant than Earth's moon).Is there a meteor coming to Earth in 2022? ›
Although some keen observers have continued to monitor the asteroid, confirming results from ESA, we now know that in early July 2023, asteroid 2022 AE1 will fly by Earth at a distance of about ten million kilometres (+/- one million km) – more than 20 times the distance of the Moon.Where is the meteor shower 2022? ›
Lyrids | April 21–22, 2022
This meteor shower is visible from both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, but is much more active in the Northern Hemisphere, where the meteors' radiant is high in the sky.
|Earliest precovery date||March 15, 2004|
|Aphelion||1.0993 AU (164.45 Gm)|
|Perihelion||0.7461 AU (111.61 Gm)|
|Semi-major axis||0.9227 AU (138.03 Gm)|
Northern hemisphere observers will have about a month to spot Comet ATLAS (C/2021 P4) at its best from mid-June to mid-July. Closest approach to Earth: July 13, 2022 — 293 million km (2.0 a.u.)Where is the K2 comet right now? ›
Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) is currently in the constellation of Ara. The current Right Ascension is 16h 41m 51s and the Declination is -48° 03' 42”.What stars will explode in 2022? ›
This event, they claim, will cause an outburst of light so bright that it will become the brightest object in the night sky. This binary star system, which is known as KIC 9832227, is one that Prof.Which star will explode next? ›
A bright red supergiant star in our galaxy that's near the end of its life, Betelgeuse likely will explode as a supernova and be visible in the daytime sometime in the next 100,000 years.What star is going to explode? ›
Most of the stars that make up our constellations are just like the sun - they won't ever explode. Only the most massive stars in the universe go supernova. But the 10th brightest star visible from Earth is Betelgeuse, a red supergiant that will indeed end its life with a bang.What is the brightest star in the sky 2022? ›
Sirius is highly visible in the Northern Hemisphere's winter night sky, because the star has a high luminosity, or intrinsic brightness, relative to other stars, and because it's relatively close to Earth (8.6 light-years away).What is the bright white star in the sky March 2022? ›
On March 24 to 26, look east an hour before sunrise for an elegant triangle of planets. Bright white Venus is at the top of the triangle; the amber jewel Mars is on the right; dimmer Saturn is on the left. Venus is roughly equidistant (4° to 5°) from Mars and Saturn.What are the big flashes in the sky? ›
Meteor: The visible flash of light observed as a meteoroid ablates in the Earth's atmosphere. Meteorite: If an object makes it through the atmosphere to reach the ground, it is called a meteorite. ... Fireball: A meteor that is unusually bright, outshining almost everything in the night sky.