Heaven always holds surprises for us, and the coming year will be no stranger to it. In 2021 there will be many fabulous astronomical events: meteor showers, eclipses, super moons.
Many will be easily observable. So that you can enjoy them, Revyuh brings you the spectacles of the cosmic events month by month.
We have the joy that many of the wonders of the cosmos are effortlessly appreciable from where there is little light pollution, and others can be enjoyed even if there is plenty of light.
Happily, 2021 gives us a series of fantastic astronomical phenomena.
2021 Astronomical calendar
- At the beginning of the month the Quadrantid meteor shower is expected. It will happen between the night of January 2 and the early morning of January 3. It will happen during the waning moon, which with its brightness will block most of the weaker meteors.
However, this shower is very active (40 meteors per hour), so the best view will be from a dark place after midnight. This shower is believed to be produced by the debris of Comet 2003 EH and its flares emanate from the Bootes constellation.
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- On January 24 the maximum eastern elongation of Mercury will occur, that is, it will be visible on the horizon, something very unusual. It will happen right at sunset.
- Mercury will also have a maximum western elongation on March 6. It will happen just before sunrise.
- That same day Venus will achieve its maximum western elongation. Our neighboring planet will be visible on the horizon in the morning sky.
- Between the night of April 22 and the early morning of April 23, we can enjoy the Lyrid meteor shower, with an average of 20 meteors per hour. The flares from the Lyrid came from dust particles left behind by Comet C / 1861 G1 Thatcher.
- On April 27 there will be a Pink Supermoon, the first of three in 2021. Our satellite will be closer to Earth, so it will appear brighter and larger than normal. The phase will occur at 03:33 GMT.
- A powerful meteor shower will be visible between the night of 6 and the early hours of May 7: the Eta Aquarids Meteor shower. It is one of the most anticipated meteor showers of the year: in an hour you can see more than 60 flashes. It is produced by particles of cosmic dust left behind by Halley’s Comet.
- On May 26, heaven will give us a Super Moon of Flowers. The ideal time to observe it will be from 11:14 GMT.
- That same day, May 26, the total lunar eclipse will occur, the first of two lunar eclipses and the only total of the year. In this type of eclipse, the Moon darkens completely and then turns a blood-red tone. It will be visible throughout the Pacific Ocean and parts of eastern Asia, Japan, Australia, and western North America.
- On June 10 there will be an annular solar eclipse, which occurs when the Moon is too far from Earth to completely covering the Sun. This results in a ring of light around the darkened Moon.
It will be visible only to the extreme west of Russia, the Arctic Ocean, western Greenland and Canada. A partial eclipse will be visible in the northeastern United States, Europe, and most of Russia. On the other hand, it will be seen partially in the northeastern United States, Europe and most of Russia.
- Three days later, on June 24, there will be a Strawberry Supermoon, the last of the three supermoons of 2021, the phase will enter at 18:40 GMT.
- Another meteor shower will have its peak between the night of July 28 and early morning of July 29: the Delta Aquarid meteor shower. However, the full moon will be an impediment to visualize the starbursts, although if you look towards the constellation of Aquarius, you may catch an occasional shooting star.
- Saturn can be easily seen and even photographed on August 2. A medium-sized or larger telescope will make it possible to see Saturn’s rings and some of its brightest moons. In addition, the planet will be close to Earth and its face will be illuminated by the Sun.
- The Perseid Meteor Shower is one of the major meteor showers of the year, with 60 flashes per hour at its peak. It runs from July 17 to August 24, although its maximum splendor will be between the night of the 12 and the early morning of August 13. The best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight.
- On August 19, Jupiter will be at its closest point to Earth, while the Sun illuminates it intensely. This is the ideal time to observe its four moons in the distance (with a good telescope) and take advantage of the immense brightness to capture them like never before.
- The month begins with the Draconid Meteor Shower, peaking on October 7. Although it is the rains with the fewest flashes of the year (only 10 per hour), it is so unusual that the best view is at sunset rather than in the early morning like most other meteor showers.
- But October will have another meteor shower, the Orionid shower, between October 21-22. However, a full moon can make it difficult to see except the brightest meteors. It is produced by grains of dust left by Halley’s Comet.
- We continue with the streak of Meteor Shower. Between November 4 and 5 there will be the Taurid Meteor Shower, just after midnight the best visualization of this fascinating Meteor Shower will be given. Although this shower is small and only produces between 5 and 10 meteors per hour, dark nights are predicted that perhaps allow some comets to be visible.
- Another shower of stars will happen between the night of 17 and dawn of November 18: the Leonid meteor shower, which will produce 15 meteors per hour. Although the proximity to the full moon can be a slight obstacle to observing them, we recommend that you be aware of the darkest place in the sky and wait for its passage.
- On November 19 there will be a partial lunar eclipse. In 2021 the full moon will coincide with a partial lunar eclipse, which occurs when the Moon passes through the partial shadow of the Earth and only a part of it passes through the darkest shadow. It will be visible in most of eastern Russia, Japan, the Pacific Ocean, North America, Mexico, Central America, and parts of western South America.
- One of the most anticipated events of the year will occur on December 4: the total solar eclipse. It occurs when the moon completely blocks the Sun, revealing the Sun’s beautiful outer atmosphere known as the corona. It will be visible in its entirety in Antarctica and the southern Atlantic Ocean. And partially in much of South Africa.
- The Geminids are the meteor shower par excellence, with 120 bursts of light per hour. It is considered as one of the most beautiful astronomical shows of the year. It occurs between December 7-17, with a peak between December 13 and 14. The best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight.
- On December 21 and 22, the Ursid meteor shower will take place, with only 5 to 10 meteors per hour. It is generated by the grains of dust left by Comet Tuttle.
The dates of the most relevant astronomical events of the year were prepared according to sources available. If you think, we are missing something, let us know.