March 2024

Saturday March 9

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Observing at Lake Kissimmee State Park

Observing with park rangers and campers at Lake Kissimmee State Park. I am proposing 6:00pm to 9:00pm (possibly later) for the campers to join us. Rangers I propose can stay as late as they wish.

Friday March 15

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bartow Friday Fest Public

This is for anyone who wants to go to a block party. It’s o bserving and Q&A only. Solar scopes are welcome before sunset. Set up at Main St. & S Wilson Ave.
If you want to take a look around, someone will watch your scope for you. There’s usually some good food close by and music down the street.
The view is somewhat limited and there’s lots of light,but those who stop by, have some good questions, so, be readywith some goodanswers.
This is another event that has brought us new members.

Recurs monthly

April 2024

Friday April 19

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bartow Friday Fest Public

This is for anyone who wants to go to a block party. It’s o bserving and Q&A only. Solar scopes are welcome before sunset. Set up at Main St. & S Wilson Ave.
If you want to take a look around, someone will watch your scope for you. There’s usually some good food close by and music down the street.
The view is somewhat limited and there’s lots of light,but those who stop by, have some good questions, so, be readywith some goodanswers.
This is another event that has brought us new members.

Recurs monthly

May 2024

Friday May 17

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bartow Friday Fest Public

This is for anyone who wants to go to a block party. It’s o bserving and Q&A only. Solar scopes are welcome before sunset. Set up at Main St. & S Wilson Ave.
If you want to take a look around, someone will watch your scope for you. There’s usually some good food close by and music down the street.
The view is somewhat limited and there’s lots of light,but those who stop by, have some good questions, so, be readywith some goodanswers.
This is another event that has brought us new members.

Recurs monthly

June 2024

Friday June 21

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bartow Friday Fest Public

This is for anyone who wants to go to a block party. It’s o bserving and Q&A only. Solar scopes are welcome before sunset. Set up at Main St. & S Wilson Ave.
If you want to take a look around, someone will watch your scope for you. There’s usually some good food close by and music down the street.
The view is somewhat limited and there’s lots of light,but those who stop by, have some good questions, so, be readywith some goodanswers.
This is another event that has brought us new members.

Recurs monthly

July 2024

Friday July 19

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bartow Friday Fest Public

This is for anyone who wants to go to a block party. It’s o bserving and Q&A only. Solar scopes are welcome before sunset. Set up at Main St. & S Wilson Ave.
If you want to take a look around, someone will watch your scope for you. There’s usually some good food close by and music down the street.
The view is somewhat limited and there’s lots of light,but those who stop by, have some good questions, so, be readywith some goodanswers.
This is another event that has brought us new members.

Recurs monthly

August 2024

Friday August 16

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bartow Friday Fest Public

This is for anyone who wants to go to a block party. It’s o bserving and Q&A only. Solar scopes are welcome before sunset. Set up at Main St. & S Wilson Ave.
If you want to take a look around, someone will watch your scope for you. There’s usually some good food close by and music down the street.
The view is somewhat limited and there’s lots of light,but those who stop by, have some good questions, so, be readywith some goodanswers.
This is another event that has brought us new members.

Recurs monthly

September 2024

Friday September 20

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bartow Friday Fest Public

This is for anyone who wants to go to a block party. It’s o bserving and Q&A only. Solar scopes are welcome before sunset. Set up at Main St. & S Wilson Ave.
If you want to take a look around, someone will watch your scope for you. There’s usually some good food close by and music down the street.
The view is somewhat limited and there’s lots of light,but those who stop by, have some good questions, so, be readywith some goodanswers.
This is another event that has brought us new members.

Recurs monthly

October 2024

Friday October 18

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bartow Friday Fest Public

This is for anyone who wants to go to a block party. It’s o bserving and Q&A only. Solar scopes are welcome before sunset. Set up at Main St. & S Wilson Ave.
If you want to take a look around, someone will watch your scope for you. There’s usually some good food close by and music down the street.
The view is somewhat limited and there’s lots of light,but those who stop by, have some good questions, so, be readywith some goodanswers.
This is another event that has brought us new members.

Recurs monthly

November 2024

Friday November 15

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bartow Friday Fest Public

This is for anyone who wants to go to a block party. It’s o bserving and Q&A only. Solar scopes are welcome before sunset. Set up at Main St. & S Wilson Ave.
If you want to take a look around, someone will watch your scope for you. There’s usually some good food close by and music down the street.
The view is somewhat limited and there’s lots of light,but those who stop by, have some good questions, so, be readywith some goodanswers.
This is another event that has brought us new members.

Recurs monthly

December 2024

Friday December 20

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bartow Friday Fest Public

This is for anyone who wants to go to a block party. It’s o bserving and Q&A only. Solar scopes are welcome before sunset. Set up at Main St. & S Wilson Ave.
If you want to take a look around, someone will watch your scope for you. There’s usually some good food close by and music down the street.
The view is somewhat limited and there’s lots of light,but those who stop by, have some good questions, so, be readywith some goodanswers.
This is another event that has brought us new members.

Recurs monthly

January 2025

Friday January 17

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bartow Friday Fest Public

This is for anyone who wants to go to a block party. It’s o bserving and Q&A only. Solar scopes are welcome before sunset. Set up at Main St. & S Wilson Ave.
If you want to take a look around, someone will watch your scope for you. There’s usually some good food close by and music down the street.
The view is somewhat limited and there’s lots of light,but those who stop by, have some good questions, so, be readywith some goodanswers.
This is another event that has brought us new members.

Recurs monthly

February 2025

Friday February 21

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bartow Friday Fest Public

This is for anyone who wants to go to a block party. It’s o bserving and Q&A only. Solar scopes are welcome before sunset. Set up at Main St. & S Wilson Ave.
If you want to take a look around, someone will watch your scope for you. There’s usually some good food close by and music down the street.
The view is somewhat limited and there’s lots of light,but those who stop by, have some good questions, so, be readywith some goodanswers.
This is another event that has brought us new members.

Recurs monthly

March 2024

Sunday March 3

10:24 am
πŸŒ— Last Quarter Moon

Sunday March 10

5:00 am
πŸŒ‘ New Moon

Sunday March 17

12:11 am
πŸŒ“ First Quarter Moon

Tuesday March 19 11:07 pmWednesday March 20 12:07 am

March Equinox

This is the date when night and day are most nearly the same length. If you live in the northern hemisphere, happy first day of spring! In the southern hemisphere, the vernal equinox corresponds to the first day of fall.

Sunday March 24

All Day
Canton's Birthday

Who’s Canton? He’s the fellow who updates your astronomy calendar (full moons, equinoxes, meteor showers, etc.) from his laptop in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It’s his birthday today!

This astronomy calendar is an effort of love and no reciprocity is needed or expected. If you’d like to donate something towards the hosting costs, or just say thank you for the calendar (or report an error!) please visit:

https://cantonbecker.com/astronomy-calendar/#credit

PS: Today is great day to observe Mercury low in the western sky just after sunset.

Monday March 25

12:53 am – 5:32 am
Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

This one’s subtle. Something you might experience in your bones not with your eyes… A penumbral eclipse occurs when the moon passes through Earth’s faint outer shadow, the penumbra. This slightly dims the moon but doesn’t turn it dark or red like in a total lunar eclipse.

This event can be observed (felt?) anywhere on the night side of Earth, in this case much of the Americas and parts of East Asia.

3:00 am
πŸŒ• Full Moon (Opposite The Sun)

It may seem obvious in retrospect… but have you noticed that the full moon rises exactly at sunset and sets exactly at sunrise? During a full moon, the moon is positioned directly opposite the sun relative to Earth. As a result, when the sun goes down on the western horizon, the full moon appears on the opposite horizon.

When you see an especially big moon and you’re wondering is it full tonight? you can answer that question by figuring out if it rose more or less exactly at sunset. Or you can check this calendar I suppose. πŸ™‚

April 2024

Monday April 1

All Day
Mercury Retrograde Begins

Time to review your computer’s backup strategy!

Mercury Retrograde is of particular interest to *astrologically* minded folks, and some people who have to deal with communications technology. See URL for more info…

11:15 pm
πŸŒ— Last Quarter Moon

Saturday April 6

All Day
Comet Pons-Brooks Approaching

Approximately every 71 years, Comet Pons-Brooks, noted for its distinctive shape reminiscent of devil horns and sometimes compared to the Millennium Falcon from β€œStar Wars,” completes its orbit around the sun. As it nears the sun, the comet becomes brighter and develops a tail.

In early April, this comet may be visible to the naked eye in the Northern Hemisphere. Particularly during the total solar eclipse on April 8th, those with a sharp eye and knowledge of its location could potentially spot it even in daylight.

However, by April 21, as the comet reaches its closest point to the sun, it may become more challenging to observe. Following this, as Pons-Brooks moves away from the sun, viewers in the Southern Hemisphere will have their opportunity to observe the comet before it disappears from view, not to return for another seventy years.

Monday April 8

12:38 pm – 3:55 pm
THE GREAT AMERICAN SOLAR ECLIPSE

Especially if you live in North America, this is the chance of a lifetime. Totality with be visible in the 100-mile wide path that cuts through much of Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Don’t snooze on this perspective-shifting experience. It’s nothing like a partial/annular solar eclipse. Imagine the planets coming out mid-day after witnessing a 360 degree sunrise/sunset… The next opportunity in North America isn’t until 2045.

However, it’s storm season, so plan accordingly. The more south into the eclipse path you can go (Mexico FTW!) the more likely you are to have clear skies. Weather in places like Indiana could be a gamble, with a 75% chance of cloud cover.

Don’t forget to pack a few sets of solar eclipse glasses. If you have binoculars or a telescope, you don’t need to buy expensive fitted filters. Just cut your own from proper optical solar film like this stuff: https://amzn.to/3U9bLa5

Map and exact time by location: https://eclipsewise.com/solar/SEgmapx/2001-2100/SE2024Apr08Tgmapx.html

Weather expectations: https://eclipsophile.com/2024tse/

2:21 pm
πŸŒ‘ New Moon

Monday April 15

3:13 pm
πŸŒ“ First Quarter Moon

Monday April 22Tuesday April 23

Lyrids Meteor Shower

This year, this shower is smack dab in the middle of the full moon, phooey. Very poor visibility but maybe you’ll catch a few burners around midnight on the 22/23rd

The Lyrid meteor shower – April’s shooting stars – lasts from about April 15 to 29. About 10 to 15 meteors per hour can be expected around the shower’s peak, in a dark sky. The Lyrids are known for uncommon surges that can sometimes bring the rate up to 100 per hour. Those rare outbursts aren’t easy to predict, but they’re one of the reasons the tantalizing Lyrids are worth checking out. The radiant for this shower is near the bright star Vega in the constellation Lyra.

Tuesday April 23

7:49 pm
πŸŒ• Full Moon (Sprouting Grass Moon)

The Maine Farmers’ Almanac began publishing Indian names for full Moons in the 1930s and these names are now widely known and used. According to this almanac, as the full Moon in April is the Pink Moon, named after the herb moss pink (AKA creeping phlox, moss phlox, or mountain phlox.) This plant, native to the eastern USA, is one of the earliest widespread flowers of spring.

Thursday April 25

All Day
Mercury Retrograde Ends

This is primarily of interest to *astrologically* minded folks. See URL for more info…

May 2024

Wednesday May 1

All Day
Beltane

Beltane, a celebration of fertility, anticipates the first signs of summer falling between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere).

7:27 am
πŸŒ— Last Quarter Moon

Monday May 6Tuesday May 7

Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower, peaking annually from April 19 to May 28, is known for producing up to 60 meteors per hour in the Southern Hemisphere and about 30 per hour in the Northern Hemisphere. Originating from comet Halley, these meteors radiate from the constellation Aquarius but are visible across the sky.

This year, a nearly new moon creates ideal dark conditions for viewing. While the peak is around the night of May 6 and the morning of May 7, the shower’s broad peak means visible meteors a few days before and after. The Southern Hemisphere typically enjoys the best views, with up to 60 meteors per hour, while in the southern U.S., 10 to 20 meteors per hour are expected. However, numbers decrease further north.

The best viewing time is in the hour or two before dawn across all global locations, as the radiant appears over the eastern horizon around 4 a.m. local time.

Tuesday May 7

11:22 pm
πŸŒ‘ New Moon

Thursday May 9

5:00 am – 6:00 am
Mercury Is Back Again!

Did you miss seeing Mercury in March?Here’s your second chance. Mercury will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.

Wednesday May 15

7:48 am
πŸŒ“ First Quarter Moon

Thursday May 23

9:53 am
πŸŒ• Full Moon (Vesak Day)

Vesak, also known as ‘Buddha Purnima’ or ‘Buddha Day,’ is celebrated on the day of the full moon in the month of Vesakha according to the Asian lunar calendars. This observance typically falls in April or May in the Gregorian calendar.

On Vesak Day, Buddhists around the world commemorate events of significance to Buddhists of all traditions: the birth, enlightenment, first sermon, and the passing away of Gautama Buddha. Each of these events is believed to have occurred on the full moon.

Thursday May 30

1:13 pm
πŸŒ— Last Quarter Moon

June 2024

Thursday June 6

8:38 am
πŸŒ‘ New Moon

Friday June 14

1:18 am
πŸŒ“ First Quarter Moon

Thursday June 20

5:51 pm – 6:51 pm
June solstice

In the northern hemisphere, this marks the first day of summer and is the day with most hours of light in the year — when the Sun is farthest north. In the southern hemisphere, this is your winter solstice, marking the shortest day of the year.

Friday June 21

9:08 pm
πŸŒ• Full Moon (Mead Moon)

The full moon closest to the Summer Solstice (for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere) is known as the Mead Moon. In ancient traditions, drinking mead under the ‘Mead Moon’ would promote healing, fertility and prosperity throughout the year. So let’s crack open a bottle of honey wine!

Friday June 28

5:53 pm
πŸŒ— Last Quarter Moon

July 2024

Friday July 5

2:06 am
Earth at Aphelion

Earth at Aphelion refers to the point in Earth’s orbit where it is farthest from the Sun, a phenomenon that occurs annually. This coincides very nearly with winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, leading to especially cold temperatures there due to the combined effect of Earth’s axial tilt away from the Sun and the increased orbital distance. Brr!

6:57 pm
πŸŒ‘ New Moon

Saturday July 13

6:49 pm
πŸŒ“ First Quarter Moon

Sunday July 21

6:17 am
πŸŒ• Full Moon (Buck Moon)

In July, the Full Moon is the Buck Moon, named after the new antlers that emerge from a buck’s forehead around this time of the year. It is also called Thunder Moon, Hay Moon, and (from pagan/medieval times) the Wyrt Moon.

Saturday July 27

10:51 pm
πŸŒ— Last Quarter Moon

Sunday July 28Monday July 29

Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower

The Delta Aquarid meteor shower, active from July 12 to August 23, is best viewed in the pre-dawn hours, especially around its peak on July 28-29. While the second quarter moon may obscure fainter meteors, find yourself a dark locations after midnight for a better chance to see the brighter ones.

Favoring the Southern Hemisphere and tropical Northern Hemisphere regions like the southern U.S., this shower produces 15 to 20 meteors per hour. Originating from debris left by comets Marsden and Kracht, these meteors radiate near the star Skat in the Aquarius constellation. Unlike many showers, the Delta Aquarids don’t have a sharp peak, instead offering a steady display through late July and early August. During early August, they often coincide with the Perseids, providing an enhanced experience, particularly from southerly latitudes. Got insomnia? You’re in luck! The optimal viewing time is an hour or two before dawn.

August 2024

Thursday August 1

All Day
Lughnasadh

Lughnasadh is celebrated near the midpoint of the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox (Northern Hemisphere). It observes the traditional start of the harvest season.

Sunday August 4

All Day
Mercury Retrograde Begins

Time to finish that project you’ve been putting off for years!

Mercury Retrograde is of particular interest to *astrologically* minded folks, and some people who have to deal with communications technology. See URL for more info…

7:13 am
πŸŒ‘ New Moon

Monday August 12Tuesday August 13

Perseids Meteor Shower

This is one of the best showers of the year, producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. This year, a first quarter moon will block the fainter meteors, but it should set shortly after midnight, leaving you with dark skies for the rest of the show. Although the predicted peak falls during the night of August 11-12, it has a long range: from July 14 to September 1. So, you can start watching for these meteors in the early August morning hours. You can also look after the peak in August, after sunset — though the full moon will likely get in the way.

The Perseid meteor shower is perhaps the most beloved meteor shower of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s a rich and steady shower. These fast and bright meteors radiate from a point in the constellation Perseus the Hero. As with all meteor shower radiant points, you don’t need to know Perseus to watch the shower. Instead, the meteors appear in all parts of the sky, frequently leaving persistent trails. Perseid meteors tend to strengthen in number from midnight to the wee hours before dawn.

These meteors are the result of our passing through the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle. For a while, astronomers calculated that this comet would collide with the Earth during the Perseids in 2126. Such an impact would have spoiled any stargazing since the comet is the largest near-Earth object that periodically passes through our sky. If Swift-Tuttle ever does hit the Earth, its 60 km/s impact will be about 27 times more energetic than the asteroid strike that wiped out the dinosaurs.

Monday August 12

11:19 am
πŸŒ“ First Quarter Moon

Wednesday August 14

All Day
Mars & Jupiter, Bosom Buddies

On August 14, Mars and Jupiter will have a close conjunction, only 0.3 degrees apart, visible in the constellation Taurus. This event is notable for the brightness of the planets and their minimal separation, making it the most prominent conjunction of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere, the planets will be observable from around midnight until morning, positioned high in the eastern sky. In the Southern Hemisphere, they will be visible a few hours before sunrise, also in the east.

That said, Mars won’t be very bright. We were spoiled back in 2018 when it was at its closest approach in its 15 year cycle.

Monday August 19

2:26 pm
πŸŒ• Full Moon (Sturgeon Moon, Supermoon)

The term Sturgeon Moon refers to the full moon in August and originates from Native American tribes in North America. They named it after the sturgeon fish, which was abundant and most easily caught in the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water during this time of the year.

Ever seen a sturgeon? Living dinosaurs! This fish species dates back to the Late Cretaceous period, around 100 million years ago, making them one of the oldest surviving fish species. Google yourself some ‘great lakes sturgeon’ pictures. Weird looking, but allegedly one of the tastiest fish in the world.

Monday August 26

5:26 am
πŸŒ— Last Quarter Moon

Wednesday August 28

All Day
Mercury Retrograde Ends

This is primarily of interest to *astrologically* minded folks. See URL for more info…

September 2024

Monday September 2

9:55 pm
πŸŒ‘ New Moon

Sunday September 8Monday September 9

Saturn Crazy Bright

Saturn will be at opposition — its closest approach to Earth. It will be brighter this week than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. This is the best time to view and photograph Saturn and its moons. A medium-sized or larger telescope will allow you to see Saturn’s rings and a few of its brightest moons.

Fun fact: Saturn’s rings are relatively new. They coalesced around the same time that trees and sharks were making their first appearance on Earth some 400 million years ago.

Wednesday September 11

2:06 am
πŸŒ“ First Quarter Moon

Tuesday September 17

10:12 pm – 11:15 pm
Partial Lunar Eclipse

Unlike the penumbral eclipse in March, this moon will pass through a section of the umbra — the darkest part of Earth’s shadow cast by the sun. Consequently, a portion of the moon’s surface will be entirely hidden from view for observers in the Americas, Africa, and Europe.

10:34 pm
πŸŒ• Full Moon (Harvest Moon, Supermoon)

The Farmer’s Almanac described this as the Harvest Moon because it gave farmers several extra evenings of moonlight to allow them to finish their harvests before the frosts of fall arrived. Tender vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, winter squash, and pumpkins must be picked before the first frost.

It is the Harvest Moon! On gilded vanes
And roofs of villages, on woodland crests
And their aerial neighborhoods of nests
Deserted, on the curtained window-panes
Of rooms where children sleep, on country lanes
And harvest-fields, its mystic splendor rests!
Gone are the birds that were our summer guests,
With the last sheaves return the laboring wains!
All things are symbols: the external shows
Of Nature have their image in the mind,
As flowers and fruits and falling of the leaves;
The song-birds leave us at the summer’s close,
Only the empty nests are left behind,
And pipings of the quail among the sheaves.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
1807 –1882

Sunday September 22

8:44 am – 9:44 am
September Equinox

The Sun will beam down directly on the equator giving us just about equal amounts of day and night in most parts of the world. North of the equator, this is your Autumnal Equinox. If you live south of the equator, this is your Spring Equinox.

Also, try balancing an egg on its end! Whether or not you succeed has nothing to do with the Equinox, but it’s still a fun game to try on any day of the year. πŸ™‚

Tuesday September 24

2:50 pm
πŸŒ— Last Quarter Moon

October 2024

Tuesday October 1

All Day
Alien life on Europa?

Let’s find alien life in the waters of Jupiter’s moon, Europa! No, really, let’s have a look. NASA hasn’t announced a date yet, but October 2024 is the speculative launch window for the Europa Clipper mission. The mission aims to analyze Europa’s habitability by studying its ice shell, subsurface water, and ocean properties, assessing the ocean’s habitability through its composition and chemistry, and examining surface features and areas of high scientific interest.

Here’s a great book on the topic: ALIEN OCEANS: The search for life in the depths of space https://amzn.to/4b6erLz

Wednesday October 2

2:49 pm
πŸŒ‘ New Moon
7:50 pm – 11:39 pm
Partial Solar Eclipse (Americas)

Annular solar eclipses aren’t so dramatic as total eclipses, but they’re still worth pulling out your sun-filtering goggles so you can witness a ring of light around the darkened moon in midday. The Sun’s corona will be fully hiden for those of you lurking in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of South America, parts of southern Chile, and Argentina.

Monday October 7

All Day
Draconids Meteor Shower

In 2024, a second quarter moon means dark skies in the early evening. You might also catch some meteors on subsequent days. The radiant point for the Draconid meteor shower almost coincides with the head of the constellation Draco the Dragon in the northern sky. That’s why you can view the Draconids best from the Northern Hemisphere. The Draconid shower is a real oddity, in that the radiant point stands highest in the sky as darkness falls. That means that, unlike many meteor showers, more Draconids are likely to fly in the evening hours than in the morning hours after midnight. This shower is usually a sleeper, producing only a handful of languid meteors per hour in most years. But watch out if the Dragon awakes! In rare instances, fiery Draco has been known to spew forth many hundreds of meteors in a single hour.

The Draconids is a minor meteor shower producing only about 10 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust grains left behind by comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner, which was first discovered in 1900.

Thursday October 10

2:55 pm
πŸŒ“ First Quarter Moon

Thursday October 17

7:26 am
πŸŒ• Full Moon (Hunters Moon, Supermoon)

This is the closest supermoon of the 4 supermoons in 2024.

Known as the Hunters Moon because at this time of year the leaves are falling and the game is fat and ready to hunt.

Monday October 21Tuesday October 22

Orionids Meteor Shower

In 2024, the waning gibbous moon will block out the fainter meteors.

On a dark, moonless night, the Orionids exhibit a maximum of about 10 to 20 meteors per hour, peaking on the night of the 21st and morning of the 22nd.

These fast-moving meteors sometimes produce bright fireballs, which might be able to overcome a moonlit glare. If you trace these meteors backward, they seem to radiate from the Club of the famous constellation Orion the Hunter.

The Orionids is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Halley, which has been known and observed since ancient times.

Thursday October 24

4:03 am
πŸŒ— Last Quarter Moon

November 2024

Friday November 1

All Day
Samhain

Samhain marks the last of the year’s four cross-quarter festivals in the Wheel of the Year, celebrated by many in Neopagan and Wiccan traditions. Positioned between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, it serves as a time to honor and remember the deceased.

8:47 am
πŸŒ‘ New Moon

Monday November 4Wednesday November 6

(Possible) Taurid Fireball Meteor Shower

The Taurid meteor shower, which includes both Southern and Northern Taurids, is known for its long duration, typically lasting from September 28 to December 2, but it generally offers only about five meteors per hour even at its peak. The Taurids are notable for a high percentage of fireballs, or exceptionally bright meteors. In 2022, an increased rate of fireball activity, known as the Taurid swarm, was observed, likely due to Jupiter’s gravitational influence on the debris in Earth’s path. This type of thing seems to happen every seven years or so…

The best viewing times for the Taurids are typically around midnight, when the constellation Taurus is highest in the sky. The meteors, which can be slow-moving but occasionally very bright, are best viewed in the mornings before the peak, as the moon gets fuller each night after.

The Taurids are unusual in having two separate streams: one produced by debris from Asteroid 2004 TG10 and the other from Comet 2P Encke.

Saturday November 9

12:56 am
πŸŒ“ First Quarter Moon

Friday November 15

4:29 pm
πŸŒ• Full Moon (Kartik Purnima 2024)

Kartik Purnima, a revered festival in Hinduism, is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Kartik. This festival holds great significance as it commemorates Lord Shiva’s triumph over the demon Tripurasura, and is also associated with Lord Krishna’s defeat of the demon Narakasura.

The festival is not only important for its religious connotations but also for its astronomical aspects. On Kartik Purnima, the moon is exceptionally bright and nearest to the Earth (SUPERMOON!) creating an ideal setting for worship and meditation. This auspicious day symbolizes the victory of good over evil and provides an opportunity to admire the moon’s splendor and ponder its spiritual importance.

Sunday November 17Monday November 18

Leonids Meteor Shower

A nearly full moon will outshine all but the brightest Leonid meteors this year. For the best view, find a very dark spot and watch after midnight.

Here’s a bit of history: The Leonids, typically an average shower, occasionally produces extraordinary meteor storms. In 1966, observers witnessed thousands of meteors per minute during a spectacular 15-minute period on November 17. Meteors seemed to fall like rain, all streaming from the constellation Leo the Lion. This event left a lasting impression of Earth moving through space, amidst a dense meteor stream. While Leonid meteor storms recur approximately every 33 to 34 years, recent occurrences haven’t matched the intensity of 1966. Usually, the Leonids peak at 10-15 meteors per hour and are most active after midnight, with the highest numbers just before dawn.

The Leonids are unique for their roughly 33-year cyclonic peak, with the last major event in 2001. (So maybe mark your calendars for November 2033?) The shower, resulting from dust grains left by comet Tempel-Tuttle, discovered in 1865, runs annually from November 6-30. While meteors radiate from Leo, they can be seen across the sky.

Friday November 22

8:28 pm
πŸŒ— Last Quarter Moon

Monday November 25

All Day
Mercury Retrograde Begins

Reorganize! Declutter! Repair broken things and put on a fresh coat of paint!

Mercury Retrograde is of particular interest to *astrologically* minded folks, and some people who have to deal with communications technology. See URL for more info…

December 2024

Sunday December 1

1:21 am
πŸŒ‘ New Moon

Saturday December 7

All Day
Jupiter Crazy Bright

Jupiter will be at opposition β€” its nearest point to Earth this year, making it exceptionally bright and visible throughout the entire night. This event offers the optimal opportunity to observe and photograph Jupiter, along with its moons. With a medium-sized telescope, you can view details in Jupiter’s cloud bands. Using a good pair of binoculars, you should be able to spot the four largest moons of Jupiter, known as the Galilean moons (discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610), appearing as distinct bright spots on either side of the planet. Beyond these, astronomers have discovered 76 more Jovain moons since Galileo’s time.

Sunday December 8

10:27 am
πŸŒ“ First Quarter Moon

Friday December 13Saturday December 14

Geminids King Meteor Shower

Bummer! A nearly full moon will interfere with viewing of this show. Plonk yourself somewhere dark after midnight and you might still see some good shooting stars.

The bold, bright white and slow moving Geminids give us one of the Northern Hemisphere’s best showers. They’re also visible, at lower rates, from the Southern Hemisphere. The meteors are plentiful, rivaling the August Perseids.

You can watch the usually reliable and prolific Geminid meteor shower from evening December 13, with the best views probably just before or around midnight. Under a dark sky with no moon, you might catch 120 Geminid meteors per hour.

Most meteor showers are the result of us passing though comet trails. These meteors are the debris left behind by an *asteroid* known as 3200 Phaethon, discovered in 1982. The shower runs annually from December 7-17. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Gemini, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

Sunday December 15

All Day
Mercury Retrograde Ends

This is primarily of interest to *astrologically* minded folks. See URL for more info…

4:02 am
πŸŒ• Full Moon (Bitter Moon)

Brr! The December full moon is also known as the Ice Moon, Snow Moon, Long Nights Moon, and my favorite (from the Cree), Frost Exploding Trees Moon

Saturday December 21Sunday December 22

Ursids Meteor Shower

The waning gibbous moon will block out the fainter meteors this year.

The Ursids is a minor meteor shower producing about 5-10 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Tuttle, which was first discovered in 1790. The shower runs annually from December 17-25. It peaks this year on the the night of the 21st and morning of the 22nd. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Ursa Minor, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

Saturday December 21

4:21 am – 5:21 am
December solstice

This marks the beginning of winter (in the northern hemisphere) and the beginning of summer (in the southern hemisphere.) The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, respectively, in the sense that the length of time elapsed between sunrise and sunset on this day is a minimum for the year. Of course, daylight saving time means that the first Sunday in April has 23 hours and the last Sunday in October has 25 hours, but these human meddlings with the calendar and do not correspond to the actual number of daylight hours.

If you live in the southern hemisphere, this is your Summer Solstice, and good cause for celebrating the longest day of the year.

Sunday December 22

5:18 pm
πŸŒ— Last Quarter Moon

Monday December 30

5:27 pm
πŸŒ‘ New Moon

January 2025

Wednesday January 1

All Day
HAPPY NEW YEAR from your Astronomy Calendar

This event is in your calendar because at some point you subscribed to Canton Becker’s moon and astronomical events calendar. If you are reading this and you do not see any moon phases in 2025, you may need to resubscribe. If you use Google Calendar I strongly recommend you un-subscribe and re-subscribe each year as that service tends to not update itself very well.

https://cantonbecker.com/astronomy-calendar/

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