North America will again have a solar eclipse that traverses most of the continent – but it will be an Annular Eclipse, not a total! Still, it will be a great opening act for the total solar eclipse next year!
Quadrantids Meteor Shower – January 3,4
This is a shower that can be rich, but because the peak only lasts a few hours, you need to be in the right place at the right time. However, this year, the Moon will be near full, making any travel to a dark location pointless as you’ll get the same sky from your nearby suburban locations. But if you are in the right place at the right time, and the peak is over your location, you may get a decent show.
Venus Saturn Conjunction – January 22
Venus will have a close meeting with Saturn on the night of January 22. The only downside is due to both planets’ proximity to the Sun, they will not be in the sky very long, and may not be easily visible while still in the Sun’s glare. Look in the south west sky around 5:30 pm.
Moon Meets Jupiter – January 25
On this night, you’ll see the Moon pass by Jupiter. Through a pair of binoculars you should see them together. Check it out after sunset, they’ll be in the sky until around 9:15 pm local time.
Moon Meets Jupiter Again – February 22
After sunset on this night, you’ll see these two objects close together again! This time they’ll be close enough to see at the same time with a telescope at low power (25x or less). Check them out in the south west, as they’ll set around 8 pm local time.
Venus Jupiter Conjunction – March 1
Venus and Jupiter will have a meeting throughout the day. Both objects are bright enough to see in a telescope, even when the Sun is still low above the horizon. Through a telescope at medium power (70x or less) you can see both objects at the same time! Check out this conjunction after sunset, but be wary that they will set around 8 pm local time!
Jupiter Disappears and Reappears Behind Moon! – May 17
Starting At 11:30 UTC, which translates to 7:30 am Eastern Daylight Savings Time/ 4:30 am Pacific, you can see the planet Jupiter disappear behind the waning crescent Moon, and then reappear on the other side almost an hour later! This occultation will be best viewed from the Midwestern states, as both objects will have risen in time for the occultation, while those on the west coast will have to wait before both objects rise, but then they’ll see the end of it when Jupiter appears to “rise” out of the Moon.
Venus Mars Moon Triangle – May 23
In the western skies after sunset, you’ll see Venus, Mars, and the Moon form a triangle. Check it out before the objects set around 11 pm local time.
Moon Passes By Jupiter Again – June 14
In the early morning skies, the Moon will once again pass by Jupiter. Through binoculars you’ll see them pass by together. Check out the event in the eastern sky starting around 3:15 am local time.
Venus Mars Moon Triangle 2 – June 21
This triangle formation will look tighter and better than the one from May. Check it out in the western skies after sunset, and be wary of the triangle setting around 11 pm local time.
Moon Meets Saturn – August 3
In the early morning skies over in the east, you can see the Moon pass by Saturn. It will best be seen around 5 am local time.
Moon Meets Jupiter Yet Again – August 8
With this conjunction, the two objects will be closest around 7:00 UTC, meaning 4 am Eastern DST. This will be best viewed from the mid west to the eastern states, while those along the west coast will see the conjunction at its peak when it rises around midnight local time. At the peak, you’ll be able to see both objects at the same time at 25x magnification or lower.
Perseids Meteor Shower – August 12,13
This year’s Perseid shower will have a waning crescent Moon in the sky during peak hours, which shouldn’t cause too much interference aside from long exposure directed in that area. Because you’ll have minimal moon interference, this will be an excellent night to check out the peak of the shower!
Annular Solar Eclipse – October 14
A good opening act to the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse is occurring on this date with an annular eclipse. While it doesn’t have the flare and mystique of a total solar eclipse, these eclipses are still neat to see, and with the right equipment, they are great opportunities to view and photograph the Sun and Moon being aligned into a “ring of fire” eclipse! Because the path goes over North America, a path from Oregon to Texas, this eclipse will be driving distance away for all of the western United States!
Venus Meets The Moon – November 9
In the morning skies, starting around 3 am local time, you’ll see Venus and the Moon meeting in the sky. Through a telescope at 30x magnification or lower you can see both of them at the same time!
Geminids Meteor Shower – December 13,14
The Geminids may be less popular than the Perseids, but they often are a better shower than the Perseids by sheer richness. Since there is almost no Moon interference, this may be the best meteor shower of the year, and a great excuse to go outside, or even drive to a dark location to view the shower!