2021 is finally here, and it will bring several outstanding cosmic events that will delight our eyes. For most people, 2020 wasn’t exactly the kind of year that they would take on a desolate island, and it’s time to consider new reasons to look at 2021 with more optimism and joy.
Whether you’re a professional astronomer or just passionate about the Universe’s wonders, 2021 has plenty of amazing celestial shows to offer you. It’s not even mandatory to use a telescope or binoculars, although staying away from city lights and cloudy sky while watching the heavens is highly recommended.
The Blue Moon returns
If you remember the Blue Moon from 2020’s Halloween, it means you had a lot of fun for the celebration. The scenario will be a bit less spooky on August 22. Another blue Moon will show itself and be ready to amaze us. But what can cause such an incredible cosmic event? Wikipedia tells us that a blue moon means an additional full moon that appears in a subdivision of a year.
The ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse
You can witness the ‘ring of fire’ from northern Ontario on June 10. What will happen there is that the Moon will be so far away from our planet that its orbit will block out the Sun completely, creating a beautiful red ring. The solar eclipse will also be visible from Russia and Greenland. You can’t afford to miss the show!
The Perseids are coming
If you’re also a fan of shiny shooting stars that illuminate the skies, you must take a good look above on August 11-12. You’ll get to witness about 75 meteors per hour, which are actually debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet. The meteors are called the Perseids due to the point from which they appear to hail, as it lies in the constellation Perseus. The name is derived from the word Perseidai, meaning the sons of Perseus from Greek mythology.
The super total lunar eclipse also deserves attention
If you live in the United States and you’re fully aware before sunrise on May 26, you can feast your eyes on the supermoon that will turn red for a super total lunar eclipse. Furthermore, the beautiful event will also be visible from areas of Southeast Asia, all of Oceania, most of Alaska and Canada, all of Australia, all of the lower 48 American states, all of Hawaii, and most of South America. The event will also mark the first total lunar eclipse since the lunar eclipse from January 2019.
The Geminids will end the year
2021 will offer us another sample of shooting stars beauty by the end of the year, on December 13-14. According to AccuWeather, we’re talking about the best meteor shower of the year, which means that you should definitely be present at the celestial show! The event will shoot up to 120 meteors per hour, and many of them will be multi-coloured. The shower is made up of debris coming from the 3200 Phaethon asteroid.
Besides the cosmic events that will be accessible for most of us, NASA has great astronomical plans for 2021. Whether we’re talking about the landing of a new rover on Mars’ surface, the return of humans to the Moon, the deployment of the next-generation James Webb Space Telescope, NASA will be in charge of all. The ultimate goal is to send humans to Mars for the first time if all goes well with the Artemis mission, although chances are very low that anyone will lay foot on the Red Planet in 2021.
In the end, we all shouldn’t forget that diving deep into the mysteries of the Universe is the most exciting journey.