Thanks to advancements in astronomy, we know about astronomical events years in advance meaning you can plan when to check out the skies for stunning sights such as meteor showers and eclipses!
If you want to check out what’s going on above us then be sure to look for these astronomical happenings in the US in 2024.
The first full moon of 2024, known as the Wolf Moon (one of the biggest and brightest!), will take place this month. While it isn’t a super rare occurrence, full moons are one of the best astronomical events to catch with the naked eye!
When: January 25th, 2024
The first eclipse of the year takes place in March, and although it isn’t a total eclipse it’ll still be quite the sight! North Americans will be able to catch this eclipse just before daybreak on the 25th.
When: March 25th, 2024
If there’s one event you’re going to want to catch, it’s this one. For just a few moments on April 8th, the moon will completely block out the sun to create the first total solar eclipse in North America since 2017, and the last one before 2044! According to NASA, the “eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. The sky will darken as if it were dawn or dusk.”
While this will be an exciting sight to take in, experts recommend solar filters or eclipse glasses to view safely. Experts recommend purchasing these glasses months ahead of time as they’re likely to sell out as the event draws near.
When: April 8th, 2024
Spring 2024 is bringing more than one meteor shower! First up is the Lyrids shower on the night of April 22nd, into the early morning of Wednesday, April 23rd. According to AccuWeather, “Typically, the shower produces around 15 shooting stars per hour, but this year, a nearly full moon will outshine all but the brightest meteors.”
The second meteor shower, the Eta Aquarid, will happen just two weeks later on the night of May 5th into the early morning of May 6th where North Americans should be able to view 10 to 30 shooting stars per hour!
When: April 22nd – 23rd & May 5th – 6th, 2024
You’re going to need to wake up early for this one but it’ll be worth it! On June 29th right at daybreak, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn will align with the Moon creating an illumination you won’t want to miss. You don’t need a telescope to view but if you have one handy, it should reveal two other planets you won’t see with the naked eye, Neptune and Uranus.
When: June 29th, 2024
Another meteor shower! This Perseid meteor shower in August will be another stunning show for the Northern Hemisphere – expected to produce up to 60 shooting stars per hour. National Geographic recommends viewing this event as far from light pollution as possible, but says “even from a suburban backyard or park, dozens of shooting stars should be visible each hour under clear skies.”
When: August 12-13th, 2024
This will be one of the more interesting astronomical events for stargazers on September 17th, into the morning of September 18th. A partial lunar eclipse will coincide with the first supermoon of the year, causing part of the moon to temporarily go dark, according to AccuWeather.
When: September 17th – 18th, 2024
According to the NASA, Geminids meteor showers are “considered to be one of the best and most reliable annual meteor showers.” Take a look up on December 13th, into the morning of the 14th and be prepared to be wowed!
When: December 13th – 14th, 2024
Happy star gazing!