Susan Baxter, an editor at TelescopeWatch.com, reached out to NKAF, noticing the similarities in our mission. She graciously prepared this summary of upcoming astronomical events and the graphic image below - it's a wonderful resource for keeping track of events in the heavens!
2018 Astronomical Events Every Stargazer Has To Witness
Last January 31, 2018, a lot of stargazers, stargazing enthusiasts, and ordinary people were waiting for the Super Blue Blood Moon. It was a rare astronomical phenomenon that combined a blue moon, a supermoon, and a total lunar eclipse. Images have shown a big full moon, beaming a bloody-like crimson orb. If you weren’t able to witness it, you still have a chance to see it again because the next Super Blue Blood Moon will be in 2037.
Another rare celestial event, which happened last March 7, was the planetary linear alignment of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon. Shining brightly in the middle of the alignment is the Antares; it’s the core star of the constellation Scorpius. That would have been a breathtaking sight to look through a telescope.
On March 15, you could have seen a highly visible Mercury as it moved along the greatest elongations. But not to worry. You still have many chances to get a glimpse of the celestial body on April 29, July 12, August 26, November 6, and December 15.
Ten days after the spotlight of Mercury was the return of the Sky Palace or the Tiangong-1. It was launched in 2011 as the first prototype space station of China, traveling the deep space to gather spatial information. Apparently, it ended its official journey in March 2016 and was expected to return the Earth’s atmosphere on March 25, appearing as a cluster of fiery projectiles in the night skies.
Unfortunately, those astronomical events have already happened, except for Mercury’s high visibility. Every stargazer could have ticked them off their “celestial” bucket list. However, the year is still young; there are still so many heavenly phenomena to be excited about, and Telescopic Watch was keen enough to create an infographic for those must-see events. You can check it out here.
Entries written by NSO Docents and Educators
Operators of the NSO and teachers in local high school and middle schools.