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A full guide to 43 astronomical events to watch in 2020: full moons, eclipses, meteor showers galore

Last Full Moon of 2019

The moon comes up over the horizon at dusk along Charlestown Road in Manor Twp. Wednesday December 11, 2019.

Full moons, planetary happenings and meteor showers aplenty: 2020 will be a busy year for the stars.

Here is a calendar of every significant astronomical event that will occur this year.

Be on the lookout for posts closer to the date of these events to find out if Lancaster County will be able to observe.


January

3 to 4: The Quadrantids meteor shower will be visible, and will have 40+ visible meteors an hour at its peak.

10: Full wolf moon, named after hungry wolf packs, will be at its brightest.


February

9: The full snow supermoon will be the first of four supermoons in 2020. It's named the "snow moon" by Native American cultures because the heaviest snows of the year would happen around this time.

10: Mercury will be at a high point in the sky, making it easy to see for stargazers.


March

9: The full worm supermoon, named after the resurfacing of worms in the soil after a cold winter, will be visible. 

20: It's the first day of Spring, which means there are equal hours of day and night. This day marks the end of the longer nighttime hours brought by winter.

24: Mercury will be at a high point in the sky, making it easy to see for stargazers.

24: Venus will be at a high point in the sky, making it visible for stargazers.

When does spring start? History, traditions of the season

April

8: The full pink supermoon, named after the moon's light turning moss a pinkish color, will be visible.

22 to 23: The Lyrids meteor shower will be visible, and will have 20+ visible meteors an hour at its peak.


May

6 to 7: The Eta Aquarids meteor shower will be visible, and will have 60+ visible meteors an hour at its peak.

7: The full flower supermoon, named after spring flowers, will be visible.


June

4: Mercury will be at a high point in the sky, making it easy to see for stargazers.

5: The full strawberry moon, named for the ideal time to ripen fruit, will be visible.

22: The Summer Solstice marks the first day of summer. The northern hemisphere will be the most tilted toward the sun, which will lead to the longest day of sunlight of the year.

Summer solstice: Why the first day of summer has the most daylight hours

July

5: The full buck moon, named for the time of year where bucks grow out their antlers, will be visible.

14: Jupiter will be its closest to the Earth, which means it will be easy to see. Those with binoculars will be able to see some of the moons around the planet.

20: Saturn will be its closest to the Earth, making it easy to see. The rings and moons will be easy to see for those with telescopes.

22: Mercury will be at a high point in the sky, making it easy to see for stargazers.

28 to 29: The Delta Aquarids meteor shower will be visible, producing up to 20 hours an hour at its peak. 


August

3: The full sturgeon moon, known by Native American culture as being the best time of year for catching sturgeons in the Great Lakes, will be visible.

12 to 13: The Perseids meteor shower will be visible, and could produce up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak.

13: Venus will be at a high point in the sky, making it visible for stargazers.


September

2: The full corn moon, named for being an ideal time to harvest corn, will be visible.

11: Neptune will be at its closest to the Earth, making it more visible than usual. Though, even with a high-powered telescope, a faint blue dot is all that will likely be visible.

22: This day marks the first day of fall, known as the autumnal equinox. There is an equal amount of day and night, and the days are getting shorter until the winter solstice.

Tell us your favorite place to watch meteor showers, stars [poll]

October

1: The full hunter's moon, known for being the ideal time to hunt, will be visible.

1: Mercury will be at a high point in the sky, making it easy to see for stargazers.

7: The Draconids meteor shower will be visible, and could produce up to 10 meteors an hour.

13: Mars will be at its closest to Earth. A medium telescope will allow someone to see vague features of the planet.

21 to 22: The Orionids meteor shower will be visible, and could produce up to 20 meteors an hour. This shower is made from remnants of Halley's comet.

31: The full blue moon will be visible; a blue moon is named when there are two blue moons in one month.

31: Uranus will be at its closest to Earth. Due to its distance, it will be difficult to see even with a telescope.


November

4 to 5: The Taurids meteor shower will be visible, and could produce up to 5 to 10 meteors an hour.

17 to 18: The Leonids meteor shower will be visible, and could produce up to 15 meteors an hour. 

30: The full beaver moon, named after it being the ideal time of year for beavers to gather food and build their shelters, will be visible.

30: A lunar eclipse will be visible. The event will be visible for all of North America.


December

13 to 14: The Geminids meteor shower, known as the biggest meteor shower of the year, will be visible. During its peak, stargazers could see as many as 120 meteors an hour.

14: A total solar eclipse will happen, though it won't be visible in North America.

21: The Winter Solstice marks the first day of winter. The northern hemisphere will be tilted away from the sun, which will lead to the longest night of the year.

21: Rare "conjunction" of Jupiter and Saturn. Briefly, the two planets will cross paths, making them look like one large, bright double planet.

21 to 22: The Ursids meteor shower will be visible, and could produce 5 to 10 meteors an hour. 

30: The full cold moon, named for the long winter nights, will be visible.

When is the winter solstice 2019? 6 ways to celebrate the first day of winter in Lancaster County

Sources: SeaSky, The Old Farmer's Almanac