As summer nears, look no further than the night sky for the season’s main events. Whether you plan a day trip around them or simply admire them from your own porch, these upcoming astronomy events are determined to dazzle. Enjoy–you may just find a new pass time.
- April 22 – Lyrid meteor shower
This annual meteor shower will be taking place April 16 to 25, with its peak on the 22nd. With only a quarter moon, the apt time to view this shower would be from about midnight to 5 a.m.
Simon Waldram; Lyrid meteor shower; 2014
- July 27 – Total lunar eclipse
Be sure to witness our moon travel through the darkest portion of Earth’s shadow in this year’s second lunar eclipse, beginning 3:30 p.m. ET (12:30 PT). No glasses required!
- July 27 – Mars’ peak visibility
This day’s a two for one, as mars will reach its peak visibility on the same day as the total lunar eclipse. The red planet will be in opposition to the sun, and will appear like a glowing orange star.
Fazekas, National Geographic
- August 11 – Partial solar eclipse
Catch the year’s third and final partial solar eclipse, as the moon’s shadow makes its triumphant return. If you couldn’t catch the mania of last year’s total eclipse, this is a great opportunity!
Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images, TIME
- August 12-13 – Perseid meteor shower
At its peak, this elegant meteor shower can produce up to 60 meteors per hour. The moonless night sky on the 12th provides perfect conditions for an excellent showing in the predawn hours of the 13th.
Cover Photo: Matthew Dieterich, Share the Experience; National Park Foundation