Many celestial events are going to take place during the year of 2021; in all there will be about 6-10 events, some of them being very rare.
On April 22nd-23th, there will be a meteor shower. More specifically, a lyrids meteor shower. “The Lyrids is an average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors per hour at its peak”; according to Sea and Sky, the meteors from a lyrid meteor shower are caused by dust particles left from a comet that was found in 1861 named “Thatcher”. These meteors can create luminescent trails left in their wake, however because of the moon that will be nearly full this year, those trails could be covered.
However, the moon covering the trails might be worth it. On April 27, we will have a Full-Super moon which is also known as a “pink moon”. The term pink moon was coined by native american tribes because of the color being close to that of “moss pink” which is a spring flower according to Sea and Sky. This will also be the first of three supermoons that we will have in 2021 and will be extremely luminecent, large and prominent.
If you really want to see a meteor shower though, you will have to wait until May 6-7 when a eta aquarids meteor shower will take place, or later in the summer on August 11-12 for a perseid meteor shower. In order to see the most and the best of meteor showers, waiting until August is the best thing to do. According to Sea and Sky, these perseid showers are caused by a comet named “Swift Tuttle”, also discovered in 1861. In accordance with Smithsonian magazine, perseid meteors leave long fiery streaks of light in the dark sky, which are very hard to miss. People could see up to, “83 meteors per hour on the peak of the night of August 11th to the 12th ”. To get the best view of these perseid showers, the best bet is to be in a dark location after midnight.
Also happening in August, is another full moon, only this one will be blue. According to Sea and Sky, blue moons only occur every 2.7 years which makes sense considering when people use the term “once in a blue moon” they mean very rare or unusual, not occurring regularly.
Although the meteor shower in May not be as cool as the one happening in August, there is still something pretty cool happening in the sky in May. This one being a total lunar eclipse, which some call a “blood moon” as the moon will appear a reddish orange color in the sky. According to Smithsonian magazine, “For the first time since January 2019, the Earth’s shadow will envelop the full moon in a total lunar eclipse.” For those of us on the east coast the lunar eclipse will take place promptly at 4:44 am and for those on Pacific time closer to 3:33 am on May 26, 2021.
Some other cool celestial events taking place in 2021 include:
-A partial lunar eclipse on November 19.
– Another meteor shower: A geminid meteor shower, in December on the 13th-14th which, according to sea sky, is the king of meteor showers as it can produce up to 120 meteors per hour at its peak.
-The annular solar eclipse taking place just two weeks after the blood moon on June 10th.
If you’re into astronomy, 2021 should be a cool and interesting year for you; even if you aren’t into astronomy, sometimes it’s good to stop and look up once in a while at the wonderful and beautiful night sky and it’s happenings.