Want to get out and see the magic of the universe? These are the stargazing events to check out this year.
I could stare at the stars and the ocean for hours. When looking upon the expanse of the sky, it seems to go on forever and make me and my problems feel so small (in a good way).
A few years ago we started to get into astrophotography, but after moving to NYC, we’ve been shooting city lights over the night sky. While living in the city that never sleeps, we met some incredible astrophotographers who have inspired us to get back at it. We have a feeling our next city will have us spending more time outside.
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Last Updated: December 14, 2022
15 Stargazing Events You Won’t Wan to Miss in 2023
We’ve done some night photography on a whim, but in hindsight realized it takes a some astronomy knowledge to capture great star photos. P.S. I also did some sports photography back in college, which was a disaster, because I didn’t understand the sport and could never follow the ball. I am hoping in the coming year with a better understanding of the stars, we can take some rad photos of them.
To helps us plan for the year, we’ve put together a calendar of stargazing events, new moons, full moons, and more. That way, we can plan each trip accordingly to get the best results. Here are the astronomy events that you should mark on your calendars!
Also, it helps to ask to go with some already knowledgeable folks or attend a star party.
1. Quadrantids Meteor Shower
January 3-4, 2023
This shower runs annually from January 1-5, but peaks on the night of the 3rd with up to 40 meteors per hour. The best viewing will be after midnight. Unfortunately, the waning gibbous moon will block our faint meteors. This shower is believed to be dust grains left by the extinct comet 2003 EH1. The nearly full moon will make it harder to catch this year.
2. Lyrids Meteor Shower
April 22-23, 2023
The Lyrids are produced by dust particles left by comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, and there are roughly 20 meteors per hour during its peak. It runs from April 16-25 with the peak on the night of the 22nd and the morning of the 23rd. The thin crescent moon will set early making for an excellent show this year.
3. Penunbral Lunar Eclipse
May 5, 2023
A penumbral lunar eclipse is when the moon passes through the Earth’s partial show. During this eclipse, the moon will darken slightly but not completely. It will be visible in Asia, Australia, parts of eastern Europe, and eastern Africa.
4. Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower
May 6-7, 2023
The most active portion of this shower will be seen in the Southern Hemisphere with up to 60 meteors per hour. In the Northern Hemisphere, there will be up to 60 meteors per hour. It runs annually from April 19 to May 28 but peaks the night of May 7. This shower is made of dust particles left by the Halley comet. The nearly full moon will block out all but the brightest meteors this year.
5. Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower
July 28-29, 2023
Debris from the Marsden and Kracht comets create this annual shower that runs from July 12 to August 23. During its peak on the night of July 28th and the morning of the 29th, you can see up to 20 meteors per hour. The nearly full moon will make it fainter this year.
6. Perseids Meteor Shower
August 12-13, 2023
This is one of the best meteor showers and stargazing events to check out this year. It produces up to 60 bright meteors per hour from the Swift-Tuttle comet. It runs from July 17 to August 24 with its peak on the night of August 12 and the morning of the 13th. Skies will be dark enough for a good show.
7. Draconids Meteor Shower
October 7, 2023
This is a smaller meteor shower but still has about 10 meteors per hour left by comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner. It’s best viewed in the early evening instead of the early morning and runs from Oct 6-10 with the peak on the 7th. The second quarter moon sets early so there should be a good show this year.
8. Annular SOlar Eclipse
October 14, 2023
The moon is too far to completely cover the Sun but it will still result in a ring of light around the darkened moon. This year, you can see it from the southwestern United States, Central America, Columbia, and Brazil. A partial eclipse will be visible from most of North and South America.
9. Orionids Meteor Shower
October 21-22, 2023
Running from October 2 to November 7, the dust grains left by comet Halley can produce up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak on the night of October 21. The first quarter moon will be bright but set after midnight leaving the skies clear for a good show.
10. Taurids Meteor Shower
November 4-5, 2023
This is a smaller shower made up of dust grains left by Asteroid 2004 TG10 and Comet 2P Encke. It runs from September 7 to December 10 but the peak happens the night of November 4th. The second quarter moon will block most of the dim meteors.
11. Leonids Meteor Shower
November 17-18, 2023
This annual shower runs from November 6-30 with 15 meteors per hour at its peak. The Tempel-Tuttle comet dust grains peak the night of November 17th, but the second quarter moon will block out most of the fainter meteors. The crescent moon will set before midnight leaving skies dark for the shower.
12. Geminids Meteor Shower
December 13-14, 2023
This is one of the best meteor showers with up to 120 multicolored meteors at its peak. The debris left from asteroid 3200 Phaethon runs from December 7-17 but peaks the night of December 13th. The nearly new moon means there will be a great show this year!
13. Ursid Meteor Shower
December 21-22, 2023
If you haven’t gotten enough meteor showers this year, catch the final shower the night of the 21st and the morning of the 22nd. The Ursids is a smaller shower producing about 5-10 meteors per hour left by the comet Tuttle. The waxing gibbous moon will block out most of the faint meteors this year.
2023 New Moon Dates
As a photographer, we’re always planning astrophotography around new moon because the sky is darkest and we can shoot photos of galaxies, star clusters, and the milky way. For that reason, it makes it great for stargazing too.
- January 21, 2023 20:55 UTC
- February 20, 2023 07:08 UTC
- March 21, 2023 17:25 UTC
- April 20, 2023 04:15 UTC
- May 19, 2023 15:55 UTC
- June 18, 2023 04:39 UTC
- July 17, 2023 18:33 UTC
- August 16, 2023 09:39 UTC
- September 15, 2023 01:41 UTC
- October 14, 2023 17:56 UTC
- November 13, 2023 09:28 UTC
- December 12, 2023 23:33 UTC
2023 Full Moon Dates
If you’re looking for bright nights or to shoot the moon, go out on full moon days. This year, there are three supermoons, which means the moon is closest to Earth can may look slightly larger and brighter.
- January 6, 2023 23:09 UTC – Wolf Moon
- February 5, 2023 18:30 UTC – Snow Moon
- March 7, 2023 12:42 UTC – Worm Moon
- April 6, 2023 04:37 UTC – Pink Moon
- May 5, 2023 17:36 UTC – Flower Moon
- June 4, 2023 03:43 UTC – Strawberry Moon
- July 3, 2023 11:40 UTC – Supermoon / Buck Moon
- August 1, 2023 18:33 UTC – Supermoon / Sturgeon Moon
- August 31, 2023 01:37 UTC – Supermoon / Blue Moon
- September 29, 2023 09:59 UTC – Supermoon / Corn Moon
- October 28, 2023 20:25 UTC – Hunters Moon
- November 27, 2023 09:17 UTC – Beaver Moon
- December 27, 2023 00:34 UTC – Cold Moon
2023 Eclipse Dates
- April 20, 2023 – Hybrid Solar Eclipse (Visible through western Australia and southern Indonesia)
- May 5, 2023 – Penumbral Lunar Eclipse (Visible in Asia, Australia, parts of eastern Europe, and eastern Africa))
- October 14, 2023 – Annular Solar Eclipse (Visible in southwestern US, Central America, Columbia, and Brazil)
- October 28, 2023 – Partial Lunar Eclipse (Visible in Europe, Asia, Africa, and western Australia)
Opposition Dates in 2023
Planets in opposition are the best time to see them because they are closest to Earth.
- August 27, 2023 – Saturn
- September 19, 2023 – Neptune
- November 3, 2023 – Jupiter
- November 13, 2023 – Uranus
2023 Equinox & Solstice Dates
- March 20, 2023 March Equinox (First Day of Spring)
- June 21, 2023 June Solstice (First Day of Summer)
- September 23, 2023 September Equinox (First Day of Fall)
- December 22, 2022 December Solstice (First Day of Winter)
Meteor Shower Dates in 2023
- January 3-4, 2023 – Quadrantids Meteor Shower
- April 22-23, 2023 – Lyrids Meteor Shower
- May 6-7, 2023 – Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower
- July 28-29, 2023 – Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower
- August 12-13, 2023 – Perseids Meteor Shower
- October 7, 2023 – Draconids Meteor Shower
- October 21-22, 2023 – Orionids Meteor Shower
- November 4-5, 2023 – Taurids Meteor Shower
- November 17-18, 2023 – Leonids Meteor Shower
- December 13-14, 2023 – Geminids Meteor Shower
- December 21-22, 2023 – Ursids Meteor Shower
Highlights of 2020
Two of the big highlights of 2020 was seeing the Neowise Comet and the Bethlehem Star. The Bethlehem star was honestly a bit of a letdown. There was so much hype around Jupiter and Saturn not coming together for 800 years, but turns out anyone with good eyesight could see two distinct planets and not one massive Christmas star. The comet, on the other hand, was really amazing to see with the naked eye and to photograph.
Both events will not happen again in our lifetime.
What stargazing events have you seen? When is the last time you stargazed?
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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.