Astronomy Calendar


Check out what's happening in the sky!

This calendar of celestial events is frequently updated.

 

Full moon in the night sky over the museum building.Image: UAF photo by Todd Paris, 2014.

  • January 2 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 9:35 am Alaska time. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
  • January 3, 4 - Quadrantids Meteor Shower. The Quadrantids is an above average shower, with up to 40 meteors per hour at its peak. It is thought to be produced by dust grains left behind by an extinct comet known as 2003 EH1. The shower runs annually from January 1-5. It peaks this year on the night of the 3rd and morning of the 4th. The thin, crescent moon will set early in the evening leaving dark skies for what should be an excellent show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Bootes, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
  • January 7 - Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation. The planet Mercury reaches greatest eastern elongation of 19.2 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the planet low in the western sky just after sunset.

  • January 17 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 2:51 pm Alaska time. This full moon is sometimes known as the Wolf Moon, the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule.

  • January 31 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 8:48 pm Alaska time. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
  • February 16 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 7:59 am Alaska time. This full moon is sometimes known as the Snow Moon or the Hunger Moon.

  • February 16 - Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation. The planet Mercury reaches greatest western elongation of 26.3 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.

  • March 2 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 8:38 am Alaska time. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
  • March 17 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 11:20 pm Alaska time. This full moon is sometimes known as the Worm Moon, the Crow Moon, the Crust Moon, the Sap Moon, or the Lenten Moon.

  • March 20 - March Equinox. The March equinox occurs at 7:24 am Alaska time. 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.

Information from Sea and Sky Astronomy Calendar.

 



More astronomy viewing resources:

Check the aurora forecast for Interior Alaska,  courtesy of the Geophysical Institute.

Use star wheels and astrolabes to find celestial bodies!

Sea and Sky has a yearly calendar to help you plan future astronomy viewings.

Check the weather on Mars, courtesy of the InSight lander.

 

Green aurora lights in the night sky.

Image: UAF photo by Todd Paris, 2015.
 


NASA logo with the word "partner" underneath.

 

This project was funded under NASA cooperative agreement NNX16AL65A and cooperative agreement number NNH15ZDA004C. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and  do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.