People have looked towards the night sky for direction, both navigational and spiritual. While we no longer travel with the aid of the stars, we still look to the night sky for its beautiful spectacles. 2017 has provided some amazing sky-shows, and it’s not over yet.
The total solar eclipse eclipsed all other astronomical events this year, but if you didn’t make it into the path of totality, there are still plenty of amazing things to look up at. View these lesser-known events. The total solar eclipse isn’t the only cool site in the sky this year.
The Moon and Saturn
Saturn and the moon will share the evening sky on August 30. Saturn appears as a yellow-white glow and can be mistaken for a star however get your hands on a telescope and you’ll get a good look at the planet’s famous ring system.
The brightest star of the constellation Scorpius, the start Antares, will also be on display next to the moon and Saturn. The star is a red supergiant with a distinctly ruddy hue.
Venus and Jupiter
At dawn on November 13, the bright planets Venus and Jupiter will appear close to each other. The 2 planets are visible with the naked eye, but use binoculars for the best viewing options. Venus and Jupiter are quite bright and are often the brightest visible planets, making for a beautiful early morning display.
The stars have aligned for perfect viewing conditions of the height of the Geminid Meteors. Every year, this meteor shower puts on a show for the Americas. This year, the only competing light in the sky will be a thin crescent moon, which will disappear around local time midnight. The predawn hours of December 14 are predicted to be the best viewing time and the peak performance hours of the shower. At its height, the Geminids dazzle with 60 to 120 shooting stars an hour.