A Wonderful Calendar of 2013 Celestial Events

  •  January 3, 4 – Quadrantids Meteor Shower. The Quadrantids are an above average shower, with up to 40 meteors per hour at their peak. The shower usually peaks on January 3 & 4, but some meteors can be visible from January 1 – 5. The near last quarter moon will hide many of the fainter meteors with its glare. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Look for meteors radiating from the constellation Bootes.
Jupiter Occultation of July 15 2012 from Macedonia

Jupiter Occultation of July 15 2012 from Macedonia

  • January 11 – New Moon. The Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase occurs at 19:44 UTC.
  • January 27 – Full Moon. The Moon will be directly opposite the Earth from the Sun and will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth. This phase occurs at 04:38 UTC.
  • February 10 – New Moon. The Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase occurs at 07:20 UTC.
  • View of asteroid 2012 DA14's close pass by Earth on Feb. 15, 2013.

    In this oblique view, the path of near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14 is seen passing close to Earth on Feb. 15, 2013.
    CREDIT: NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office

  • Discovery image of the newfound comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS), taken by Hawaii's Pan-STARRS 1 telescope.

    Discovery image of the newfound comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS), taken by Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS 1 telescope.
    CREDIT: Institute for Astronomy/University of Hawaii/Pan-STARRS

  • February 25 – Full Moon. The Moon will be directly opposite the Earth from the Sun and will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth. This phase occurs at 20:26 UTC.
  • March 11 – New Moon. The Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase occurs at 19:51 UTC.
  • March 20 – March Equinox. The March equinox occurs at 11:02 UTC. The Sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. This is also the first day of spring (vernal equinox) in the northern hemisphere and the first day of fall (autumnal equinox) in the southern hemisphere.
  • March 27 – Full Moon. The Moon will be directly opposite the Earth from the Sun and will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth. This phase occurs at 09:27 UTC.
  • a lunar halo

Lunar Halo – Lunar and solar halos are caused when light passes through ice crystals formed in clouds through the sky. Credit: Shingo Takei

  • April 10 – New Moon. The Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase occurs at 09:35 UTC.
  • April 20 – Astronomy Day Part 1. Astronomy Day is an annual event intended to provide a means of interaction between the general public and various astronomy enthusiasts, groups and professionals. The theme of Astronomy Day is “Bringing Astronomy to the People,” and on this day astronomy and stargazing clubs and other organizations around the world will plan special events. You can find out about special local events by contacting your local astronomy club or planetarium. You can also find more about Astronomy Day by checking the Web site for theAstronomical League.
This SDO image shows the Sun at 171 Angstroms just before the flare erupted from the active region. Credit: NASA/SDO
This SDO image shows the Sun at 171 Angstroms just before the flare erupted from an active region. Credit: NASA/SDO  (Via Sen)
  • April 21, 22 – Lyrids Meteor Shower. The Lyrids are an average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors per hour at their peak. These meteors can produce bright dust trails that last for several seconds. The shower usually peaks on April 21 & 22, although some meteors can be visible from April 16 – 25. The gibbous moon could be a problem this year, hiding many of the fainter meteors in its glare. It will set before sunrise, providing a short window of dark skies. Look for meteors radiating from the constellation of Lyra after midnight.
  • April 25 – Full Moon. The Moon will be directly opposite the Earth from the Sun and will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth. This phase occurs at 19:57 UTC.
  • April 25 – Partial Lunar Eclipse. The eclipse will be visible throughout most of Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
    (NASA Map and Eclipse Information)
  • April 28 – Saturn at Opposition. The ringed planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. This is the best time to view and photograph Saturn and its moons.
  • May 5, 6 – Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower. The Eta Aquarids are a light shower, usually producing about 10 meteors per hour at their peak. The shower’s peak usually occurs on May 5 & 6, however viewing should be good on any morning from May 4 – 7. The crescent moon will hang around for the show, but should not cause too many problems. The radiant point for this shower will be in the constellation Aquarius. Best viewing is usually to the east after midnight, far from city lights.
  • May 10 – New Moon. The Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase occurs at 00:28 UTC.
  • May 10 – Annular Solar Eclipse. The path of annularity will begin in western Australia and move east across the central Pacific Ocean. (NASA Map and Eclipse Information)
  • May 25 – Full Moon. The Moon will be directly opposite the Earth from the Sun and will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth. This phase occurs at 04:25 UTC.
  • May 28 – Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter. The two bright planets will be within 1 degree of each other in the evening sky. The planet Mercury will also will also be visible nearby. Look to the west near sunset.
  • May 25 – Penumbral Lunar Eclipse. The eclipse will be visible throughout most of North America, South America, western Europe, and western Africa. (NASA Map and Eclipse Information)
  • June 8 – New Moon. The Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase occurs at 15:56 UTC.
  • June 21 – June Solstice. The June solstice occurs at 05:04 UTC. The North Pole of the earth will be tilted toward the Sun, which will have reached its northernmost position in the sky and will be directly over the Tropic of Cancer at 23.44 degrees north latitude. This is the first day of summer (summer solstice) in the northern hemisphere and the first day of winter (winter solstice) in the southern hemisphere.
  • June 8 – New Moon. The Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase occurs at 15:56 UTC.
  • June 23 – Full Moon. The Moon will be directly opposite the Earth from the Sun and will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth. This phase occurs at 11:32 UTC.

full moon france

The first of two full moons in August rises over Paris, France in this night sky photo. Astrophotographer VegaStar Carpentier took this photo Aug. 1, 2012 from Paris, France using a Canon EOS 1000D.

  • July 8 – New Moon. The Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase occurs at 07:14 UTC.
  • July 22 – Full Moon. The Moon will be directly opposite the Earth from the Sun and will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth. This phase occurs at 18:15 UTC.
  • July 28, 29 – Southern Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower. The Delta Aquarids can produce about 20 meteors per hour at their peak. The shower usually peaks on July 28 & 29, but some meteors can also be seen from July 18 – August 18. The radiant point for this shower will be in the constellation Aquarius. The last quarter moon will be around for the show and may hide some of the fainter meteors. Best viewing is usually to the east after midnight.
  • August 6 – New Moon. The Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase occurs at 21:51 UTC.
  • August 12, 13 – Perseids Meteor Shower. The Perseids is one of the best meteor showers to observe, producing up to 60 meteors per hour at their peak. The shower’s peak usually occurs on August 13 & 14, but you may be able to see some meteors any time from July 23 – August 22. The radiant point for this shower will be in the constellation Perseus. The near first quarter moon will set before midnight, leaving optimal conditions and dark skies for what should be an awesome show. Find a location far from city lights and look to the northeast after midnight.
  • August 21 – Full Moon. The Moon will be directly opposite the Earth from the Sun and will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth. This phase occurs at 01:45 UTC.
  • August 27 – Neptune at Opposition. The blue planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. This is the best time to view Neptune. Due to its distance, it will only appear as a tiny blue dot in all but the most powerful telescopes.
  • September 5 – New Moon. The Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase occurs at 11:36 UTC.
  • September 19 – Full Moon. The Moon will be directly opposite the Earth from the Sun and will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth. This phase occurs at 11:13 UTC.
  • September 22 – September Equinox. The September equinox occurs at 20:44 UTC. The Sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. This is also the first day of fall (autumnal equinox) in the northern hemisphere and the first day of spring (vernal equinox) in the southern hemisphere.
  • October 3 – Uranus at Opposition. The blue-green planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. This is the best time to view Uranus. Due to its distance, it will only appear as a tiny blue-green dot in all but the most powerful telescopes.
  • October 12 – Astronomy Day Part 2. Astronomy Day is an annual event intended to provide a means of interaction between the general public and various astronomy enthusiasts, groups and professionals. The theme of Astronomy Day is “Bringing Astronomy to the People,” and on this day astronomy and stargazing clubs and other organizations around the world will plan special events. You can find out about special local events by contacting your local astronomy club or planetarium. You can also find more about Astronomy Day by checking the Web site for theAstronomical League.
  • October 5 – New Moon. The Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase occurs at 00:34 UTC.
  • October 18 – Full Moon. The Moon will be directly opposite the Earth from the Sun and will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth. This phase occurs at 23:38 UTC.
  • October 18 – Penumbral Lunar Eclipse. The eclipse will be visible throughout most of the world except for Australia and extreme eastern Siberia. (NASA Map and Eclipse Information)
  • October 21, 22 – Orionids Meteor Shower. The Orionids is an average shower producing about 20 meteors per hour at their peak. This shower usually peaks on the 21st, but it is highly irregular. A good show could be experienced on any morning from October 20 – 24, and some meteors may be seen any time from October 17 – 25. The gibbous moon will be a problem this year, hiding all but the brightest meteors with its glare. Best viewing will be to the east after midnight. Be sure to find a dark location far from city lights.
  • November 3 – New Moon. The Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase occurs at 12:50 UTC.
  • November 3 – Hybrid Solar Eclipse. The eclipse path will begin in the Atlantic Ocean off the eastern coast of the United States and move east across the Atlantic and across central Africa. (NASA Map and Eclipse Information)
  • November 17 – Full Moon. The Moon will be directly opposite the Earth from the Sun and will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth. This phase occurs at 15:16 UTC.
  • November 17, 18 – Leonids Meteor Shower. The Leonids is one of the better meteor showers to observe, producing an average of 40 meteors per hour at their peak. The shower itself has a cyclic peak year every 33 years where hundreds of meteors can be seen each hour. The last of these occurred in 2001. The shower usually peaks on November 17 & 18, but you may see some meteors from November 13 – 20. The full moon will prevent this from being a great show this year, but with up to 40 meteors per hour possible, this could still be a good show. Look for the shower radiating from the constellation Leo after midnight.
  • December 3 – New Moon. The Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase occurs at 00:22 UTC.
  • December 13, 15 – Geminids Meteor Shower. Considered by many to be the best meteor shower in the heavens, the Geminids are known for producing up to 60 multicolored meteors per hour at their peak. The peak of the shower usually occurs around December 13 & 14, although some meteors should be visible from December 6 – 19. The radiant point for this shower will be in the constellation Gemini. The gibbous moon could be a problem this year, hiding man of the fainter meteors. But with up to 60 meteors per hour predicted, this should still be a good show. Best viewing is usually to the east after midnight from a dark location.
  • December 17 – Full Moon. The Moon will be directly opposite the Earth from the Sun and will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth. This phase occurs at 09:28 UTC.
  • Legend for astronomy calendar icons
  • December 21 – December Solstice. The December solstice occurs at 17:11 UTC. The South Pole of the earth will be tilted toward the Sun, which will have reached its southernmost position in the sky and will be directly over the Tropic of Capricorn at 23.44 degrees south latitude. This is the first day of winter (winter solstice) in the northern hemisphere and the first day of summer (summer solstice) in the southern hemisphere.
  • President Obama's 2013 budget proposal slashes space science and planetary missions.

    Via Space dot Com

  • President Barack Obama unveiled his proposed federal budget for 2013 today (Feb. 13), which includes $17.7 billion for NASA and requires painful cuts to the agency’s Mars exploration plans that are already drawing criticism from astronomers. NASA’s portion of the proposed 2013 budget features a cut on planetary science missions, but includes some funding boosts for space technology and human exploration. See how planetary science fares in 2013 for NASA in the above SPACE.com infographic.
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3 thoughts on “A Wonderful Calendar of 2013 Celestial Events

  1. Pingback: Full moon musings December 28 2012 « Greatpoetrymhf’s Weblog

    • Thanks, it took quite a while (this and the Lunar Eclipse) post. One of the most frustrating things sometimes is to ‘hop’ around to different websites for the information.. I simply try to group what I find interesting together with favorite photo’s..

      Thanks for following, by the way! I’ve returned the favor.. I like the look of your blog also! You may also like my other listed at the side (which is not all Astronomy.. Just follow the Aurora Link.. 🙂

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