Astronomy Events to Look Out For in 2023

What's in the Sky?

There are infinite targets to view and capture in the night sky. Some are only visiable at a certain point in time. Which dates should you look out for? We've gathered some of the more prominent astronomy events. Read on to see which dates to look out for!

Breakdown:

  • 1/3-1/4 - The Quadrantid meteor shower: This shower runs annually from January 1-5, with the peak landing on the night of the 3rd and the morning of the 4th. The Quadrantids is usually an above average shower, with about 40 meteors at its peak. This year, the peak comes close to a full moon, meaning many of the fainter meteors will not be visible, but if you are patient you may still be able to catch some good ones!
  • 1/6 - Full Moon: The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun, causing its face to be fully illuminated. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Wolf Moon because this was the time of year when hungry wolf packs howled outside their camps
  • 1/14 - Moon at 3rd Quarter: When the Moon is in this phase, it has traveled three-quarters of its orbit. From our perspective, the moon will only appear to be half illuminated; which is why it is also referred to as a Half Moon. During this phase, the moon is perpendicular to the Earth and Sun, and it is 90 degrees west of the Sun. During the Last Quarter in the Northern Hemisphere, the left half of the Moon is illuminated.  
  • 1/21 - New Moon: The Moon will be located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This will be the best time of the month to observe fainter objects like galaxies and star clusters due to the lack of lunar interference. 
  • 1/28 - Moon at 1st Quarter:The Moon refreshed its orbit with the New Moon, making this the first quarter of its orbit. Similar to when the Moon is at 3rd quarter; the Moon is perpendicular to the Earth and Sun, and it is 90 degrees east from the Sun. In the Northern Hemisphere, it is the right side of the Moon that is illuminated in the first quarter.
  • 1/30 - Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation: The planet Mercury reaches greatest western elongation of 25 degrees from the Sun. This will be the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. 
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Do you know of any upcoming events that we missed? Be sure to comment below and spread the word!

Most of these events are visible to the naked eye however, if you wish to view these in detail, check out our large selection of telescopes! If you have any questions about purchasing a telescope or need to know more, please contact us. The OPTeam will be glad to steer you towards the best possible telescope to begin your journey into the world of astronomy. Happy observing!


2 Responses

Joe Miles

January 11, 2023

One of those stargazers who live ‘downunder’, so its good to see you mention which Hemisphere you need to be in when stating which side of moon appears illuminated. Appreciated.

Dave Nicholson

January 11, 2023

Anything new with the approaching comet?

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