Happy New Year! I’m starting this year with an astronomy calendar 2023. And on my astronomy calendar are my top 10 astronomical events for 2023! A few qualify as rare astronomical events for 2023 and a few are old favorites.
Louie is a fan of old favorites! Click to see his happy dance.
ASTRONOMY CALENDAR 2023
JANUARY 3-4, 2023
THE QUADRANTIDS METEOR SHOWER
A meteor is a space rock—or meteoroid—that enters Earth’s atmosphere. As the space rock falls toward Earth, the resistance—or drag—of the air on the rock makes it extremely hot. What we see is a shooting star.
That bright streak is not actually the rock, but rather the glowing hot air as the hot rock hurdles through our atmosphere.
If you want to delve more into meteor showers, here’s a fun link with graphics on meteor showers dot org. It’s also a great STEM activity!
While some may argue about classifying the quadrantids as a rare astronomical event for 2023, a comet visible to the naked eye definitely is!
FEBRUARY 1, 2023
COMET C/2022 E3 (ZTF) REACHES MAXIMUM BRIGHTNESS
For the record, a comet is a large object made of dust & ice that orbits the Sun. Best known for their long, streaming tails, these ancient objects are leftovers from the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.
Halley’s Comet is visible from Earth every 75–79 years. It will appear again in 2061.
38 years is a long time to wait!
So why not go outside and see a comet in 2023! It’s a great STEM activity for your kids.
Where should you look on February 1??
CONTINUING WITH OUR 10 COOL ASTRONOMY EVENTS FOR 2023
APRIL 20, 2023
HYBRID SOLAR ECLIPSE
We’ll only have 7 hybrid solar eclipses this century. That qualifies as a rare astronomical event!
Lucky observers in Australia, Indonesia, and East Timor will witness this unique event at 4:16 GMT. For your local time, click here for a GMT to UTC converter. The surrounding regions will see a partial solar eclipse.
A hybrid solar eclipse is the rarest type of eclipse.
WHAT IS A SOLAR ECLIPSE?
As you can see, solar eclipses are only visible to a small area on our planet at a time. If you’re lucky enough to fall under the moon’s shadow, this is a must-see astronomical event!
Look at that perfect alignment of the sun, moon, and earth in this NASA giph!
TOTAL, ANNULAR, AND PARTIAL SOLAR ECLIPSES
BACK TO THE TOP 10 ASTRONOMICAL EVENTS FOR 2023
This unusual celestial event will be visible from parts of Europe and the Americas.
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AUGUST 12-13, 2023
PERSEID METEOR SHOWER PEAKS
This is one of my favorite astronomical events! August is warm and we can sit in a hammock and wait for the show!
AUGUST 27, 2023
SATURN AT OPPOSITION
What is opposition?
Opposition in astronomy means that a planet is opposite the sun.
On August 27, 2023, Saturn, Earth, and the sun will be in a straight line, with Earth in the middle. It’s a must-see astronomical event!
So what is the big deal?
ASTRONOMY CALENDAR 2023 con't.
AUGUST 31, 2023
THE LARGEST FULL MOON OF 2023
A supermoon occurs when the Moon’s orbit is closest (perigee) to Earth at the same time the Moon is full.
THE NEXT MUST-SEE ASTRONOMICAL EVENT FOR 2023
OCTOBER 14, 2023
ANNULAR SOLAR ECLIPSE
YES! Another solar eclipse. Now you can see why I needed to write this post. A 2nd eclipse is #eight of 10 cool astronomy events for 2023.
Mark your calendars. This is a must-see astronomical event!
NOVEMBER 3, 2023
JUPITER AT OPPOSITION
You already know what opposition is.
I keep talking about the binoculars but seeing Jupiter’s moons that first time is astounding.
# 10 OF OUR TOP 10 ASTRONOMICAL EVENTS FOR 2023
DECEMBER 14, 2023
GEMINIDS METEOR SHOWER
Not a rare astronomical event for 2023, but the Geminids are dubbed the king of the meteor showers.
At the risk of sounding maudlin, it doesn’t cost anything to find the solace and peace that the sky offers. (well, it might cost 27.99 plus tax, but you get the idea!)
Everyone on our planet has access to these marvels and can enjoy some awesomeness.
Which of these top 10 astronomical events for 2023 appeal to you? What’s your favorite planet?
I wish you clear skies!