Space is infinite. There are so many things that we have discovered, and so much more that we have yet to discover. Humans have attained such a fascination with space that we have put multiple types of satellites and telescopes there just to learn more about it. A good chunk of the things that occur in our solar system can be seen with the naked eye, so why do so few people know about it? Within this coming year, there are more events occurring than I can count on my hands, and most of those you can see just standing out in your own backyard. These things run from the transiting of the international space station in front of the moon to the series of supermoons occurring this year. So what are some interesting events going on in 2020?
A super moon is a cool event when the full moon gets larger in appearance. This year from February to May, there will be a succession of this occurrence, so be sure to get some stargazing in on those days. The moon will also be passing in front of Mars on February 18th. This will occur at some point before sunrise.
This January there has been a drought of meteor showers. The showers will start up again on the night of April 22 into the early morning hours of April 23. There will also be a lunar eclipse on the night of the fourth of July, as well as shortly after Thanksgiving. It may be difficult to see the umbra, however, it is definitely still worth watching. During the summer months, Jupiter and Saturn will be visible in the night sky, and should you want a closer look, the Sheep Hill Observatory in Boonton has public nights every third Friday of the month, as well as a movie night in the fall.
Ever hear the expression ‘once in a blue moon?’ Well, this year there will be a blue moon on Halloween! This is an incredibly rare occurrence for it has not happened in a long time, and likely won’t happen again until 2032. The international space station will also be transiting the moon on February 6th. The last event to happen this year will be the most interesting one. Saturn and Jupiter will be in the midst of a super conjunction on December 21. This means that the two planets will be incredibly close together in the sky.
With so many events, it’s hard to keep track of where they’ll be. A program called Stellarium can show you where everything is in the sky, from satellites to planets you can learn where everything is. 2020 has plenty of opportunities for stargazing, so get out there and watch the sky!