9 Amazing Sky Phenomena in 2022 That Are Worth Waiting For


Our skies are full of cosmic wonders. In 2022, a number of celestial phenomena will greet you, from a total lunar eclipse to shooting stars.

Of course, there are many celestial phenomena if one has to mention one by one. But at least, there are 9 phenomena that are worth waiting for and witnessing in 2022, as quoted from National Geographic. Astronomy lovers not to be missed, if necessary mark it on your calendars!

January 3 and 4: Quadrantid Meteor Shower Peak

For people living in the Northern Hemisphere, 2022 will see the arrival of the first major meteor shower, the Quadrantids, which will peak on the night of January 3 and the early hours of January 4.

The thin crescent moon will set early in the evening, leaving behind ideal darkness. These meteor showers are known to produce shooting stars that are brighter than average, with 25 to 100 meteors seen per hour depending on local light pollution.

As with all meteor showers, the best way to see as many shooting stars as possible is to find a viewing location away from urban lights and wait about 20 minutes for your eyes to fully adjust to the darkness of late night or early morning.

March 24 - April 5: Venus, Mars, and Saturn "Couple"

From late March to early April, early risers in both hemispheres will see some of the brightest neighbours. Look into the southeastern sky about an hour before sunrise local time to see Venus, Mars, and Saturn "coupled" together in a tight triangular cluster. On March 27 and 28, the crescent Moon will pass by the planets.

Sky watchers who watch the planets from morning to morning will see their positions shift. The planets will form triangles that will change their angles until after April 1, when all three will appear in a straight line.

In early April, you can also see Saturn approaching Mars until the two appear side by side between April 3 and 5. The two planets will be closest visible on April 4, when the distance between them is only half a degree arc, equal to the width of the full Moon.

April 30: Partial Solar Eclipse

Two partial solar eclipses (when the Moon partially blocks the Sun's disk in the sky) will occur in 2022. The first will be visible in southern South America, parts of Antarctica, and parts of the Pacific and Southern Oceans.

On April 30, the Moon will pass between Earth and the Sun, with the maximum eclipse occurring at 20:41 UT, when up to 64% of the Sun's disk will be covered by the Moon.

To see the extent of the largest eclipse, the viewer must be positioned in the Southern Ocean to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula. However, eclipse hunters in the southernmost parts of Chile and Argentina will be able to see about 60% of the Sun being erased by the Moon.

Protective glasses are required to safely view all phases of a partial solar eclipse. While the Sun may not appear as bright as in the sky, looking at it directly can cause serious eye injuries. So if you're planning on seeing the eclipse on April 30, make sure to wear glasses that meet international safety standards.

April 30 and May 1: Venus-Jupiter Conjunction

As April progresses, stargazers can watch the bright planet Jupiter slowly rise higher and higher in the southeastern sky each day before dawn. This giant planet will continue to approach the very bright Venus.

Before dawn on April 30, the two planets will be so close that they almost appear to be fused. This pair of planets will be visible at the same time through binoculars and some types of telescopes by amateur astronomers. As an added bonus, Mars and Saturn will be visible in the sky towards the top right.

Get ready to find a good vantage point with an unobstructed line of sight towards the southeast horizon. This heavenly miracle will occur near the Sun. The trick is to let the planets rise high enough in the morning sky to observe them before the bright light of dawn drowns out the view. The best time to start this hunt is approximately 30 minutes before sunrise local time.

May 5 and 6: Peak of the Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower

Meteor watchers are ready for early May 2022, as sky conditions should be near perfect for the peak of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower. The best view for this phenomenon is predicted to occur in the early hours of May 5th.

The waxing crescent moon would set early the night before, leaving the sky dark enough to see even the faintest shooting star.

Meteors will appear to be emanating from the constellation Aquarius, which will be near the southeastern horizon when it rains. Since the beam from which the meteor originates is positioned in a southern location in the sky, the show will benefit viewers in the Southern Hemisphere somewhat.

Under a clear sky away from city lights, as many as 20 to 30 shooting stars can be seen per hour. The number will probably be less, 10 to 20 per hour in the Northern Hemisphere.

May 15 and 16: Total Flower Moon Lunar Eclipse

The first total lunar eclipse of 2022 will occur on May 15 or 16, depending on where you are. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon align so that the Moon crosses Earth's shadow, darkening and reddening its silvery disk in the sky. This particular lunar eclipse will be visible from North and South America, Europe, Africa and parts of Asia.

While part of the lunar eclipse will occur after the Moon sets for skywatchers in Africa and Europe, those in eastern North America and the rest of Central and South America will be able to see the entire eclipse from start to finish.

Starting at 9:32 p.m. ET on May 15, the eclipse will reach its maximum phase, when the Moon turns its deepest and most dramatic red, at 12:11 a.m. ET on May 16.

Since the full moon in May is known as the Flower Moon, named after the spring that blooms in the Northern Hemisphere, this celestial event is dubbed the Flower Moon of a total lunar eclipse.

June 18-27: Five planets aligned

Skywatchers in early June will be able to catch a rare lineup of all the major planets visible to the naked eye: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and possibly Uranus. In closing, the Moon will pass near each of these planets between June 18 and June 27.

On June 24 and 25, the crescent Moon will glide past the ice giant Uranus and make hunting easier, especially with binoculars. Look for a clear green dot. And passionate stargazers won't want to miss the Moon's close encounter with super-bright Venus on June 26. Then on June 27, the dim Mercury has a turn with the Moon, when both will appear to be setting in the morning twilight.

October 25: Partial Solar Eclipse

On October 25, the Moon will "devour" the Sun as a partial solar eclipse covers the skies over much of Europe and the Middle East, as well as parts of western Asia, northern Africa and Greenland.

Similar to a partial eclipse on April 30, this October event will occur when the Moon partially covers the Sun's disk as seen from Earth. As much as 86% of the Sun will be covered in parts of Eurasia.

The Moon's silhouette will begin to partially cover the Sun at 08:58 UT, and the maximum eclipse will occur at 11:00 UT. The next solar eclipse for observers in the western Atlantic will only occur again on October 14, 2023, when an annular eclipse, or "ring of fire", will be visible.

November 7 and 8: Total Lunar Eclipse

People across North and South America, Australia, Asia, and parts of Europe will have the opportunity to watch the Moon turn red for the second time in 2022 when a total lunar eclipse occurs on the nights of November 7 and 8.

In the western United States and Canada, eastern Russia, New Zealand, and parts of eastern Australia, skywatchers will see the entire eclipse unfold. Meanwhile, eastern North America and much of South America will be able to see a partial phase of the eclipse as the Moon sets in the west.

The moon will begin to darken along its edges on November 8 at 3:03 a.m. PT, and then its entire disk will fall into the deepest center of Earth's shadow at 2:59 a.m. PT. The eclipse will end at 3:41 a.m. PT, completing a wonderful year of stargazing.

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