“Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.” (Plato). Astronomy truly is one of the biggest question marks in the world. Astronomical objects have shaped the way humans function throughout all of known history. Not only does astronomy assist the Earth in this way, it also has some amazing events and anomalies that occur. In the year 2021, there are about 21 notable astronomical events still to come in the year 2021.
- May 26th of this year (2021) will present the Earth with a moon that is second to the super moon. In late April, the super moon was presented on the 26th. This super moon was called this due to it being the brightest the moon ever gets. This is because the moon was the closest full moon that it will be to Earth. On May 26th, there may not be quite the same effect, however, it will be a close second to the super moon experienced on April 26th. On this same day, May 26th, there will also be a total lunar eclipse that is visible to Japan, Australia, Western North America, Eastern Asia, and the Pacific Ocean. A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon is somewhat or fully in the Earth’s shadow. This will create this already bright moon appear a somewhat darkened red color.
- On June 10th, the annual solar eclipse will appear. This eclipse is very different from the normal full solar eclipses. This annual solar eclipse occurs when the moon is covering up the sun, however, the moon is farther away from the sun. This means, rather than just seeing light put off by the sun on the sides of the moon, there will be a ring of light around the moon. This ring is very bright and can be observed as a ring of fire.
- June 24th will present yet another super moon. This super moon can also be called the strawberry moon. This name comes from the Algonquin tribe. This moon symbolized that the strawberries where ready to harvest for this tribe (Rutherford-Morrison, 2016).
- Entering into July, on the 24th there will be a full moon. There are full moons every cycle, however, this particular moon was coined The Buck Moon. The reason it is called this is because this time of year is around when Bucks start growing their new antlers (Kahla, 2021). This moon also has much Buddhist meaning. This moon is the first of the official summer and, therefore, for Buddhists, it “signifies the celebration of Asalha Puja or Dharma Day” (Tripathi, 2020)
- Only a few days late on July 28th and 29th, the Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower will occur. These two days are the peak of this particular meteor shower. This meteor shower will be extremely hard to spot in the night sky. Unfortunately, due to the brightness of the moon, as long as the moon is out, this meteor shower will not be visible to the human eye (NASA, 2019).
- August 12th and 14th will then present yet another meteor shower. This particular shower is called Perseids Meteor Shower. This meteor shower is one of the biggest creating about 100 meteors per hour. This meteor shower will be best seen before the sun rises in the Northern Hemisphere (NASA, 2019).
- On August 22nd, there will be a full blue moon in the sky. The moon, unfortunately, doesn’t ever actually shine blue light. Though this may come as a surprise, there will still be a blue hue to the moon. This is caused by dust and particles that create the blue hue.
- September is actually surprisingly quite when it comes to astronomical activity, however, on September 20th, the corn moon will appear. This particular moon, however, is not as exciting to look at. It is a full moon, however, it only gets a name due to the time of year. This day starts the time that corn is harvested hence the name of this full moon.
- October 7th starts a month packed with astronomical activity. This first event is the Draconids Meteor Shower. This meteor shower isn’t particularly different from the rest of them, however, it is one of the few that is annual. This meteor shower also should be easy to see as long as the viewing point is away from city lights.
- October 20th is a full moon that is only notable due to the time of year. This particular moon is called Hunters moon. This moon is called this due to hunting season. This time of year is when game is fat and is prime time for hunting.
- On October 21st and 22nd, yet another meteor shower will appear. This meteor shower is called Orionids Meteor Shower. This is another annual meteor shower. This particular shower is very famous because it is considered, “One of the most beautiful showers of the year” (NASA, 2019). This meteor shower will be easier to view for all because it will be viewable from either hemisphere as long as it is after midnight.
- October 31st, although not necessarily a phenomenon in space as humans can see it, is the set launch date of the James Webb Space Telescope. This telescope is an orbiting telescope that is said will change the way we see the universe (NASA, 2019).
- On November 4th and 5th, we will start off the year with yet another meteor shower called Taurids Meteor shower. This meteor shower happens when the Earth passes into dust left from Encke, a comet. This shower tends to have a wide variety in activity based on the year. Some years there are very few meteors seen, however, others tend to be much more active.
- Leonids meteor shower also comes in November. November 17th and 18th bring the peak of this shower. Leonids meteor shower, although averaging only about 15 meteors per hour, is one of the easier to see. This is because the brightness of this meteor shower is much greater than others (NASA, 2019).
- On November 19th, yet another r full moon that has historical meaning will appear. This particular moon will be called the Beaver Moon. This moon is called the Beaver moon because this time of year was said to be the time of year to set beaver traps.
- The last astronomical event occurring in November will be a partial lunar eclipse. This will occur on November 19th. Although this isn’t a full lunar eclipse, it will be visible. This lunar eclipse will be visible in North American spreading west to Russia.
- On the 4th of December, 2021, there will be a full solar eclipse. Unfortunately, this can’t be seen from just anywhere. This particular eclipse can be seen from Antarctica and the Southern Atlantic Ocean. A total solar eclipse is when the Moon is covering up the sun, making there only be small light rays visible from the sides of the moon.
- The second to last meteor shower of the year will occur on December 13th and 14th. This meteor shower is called Geminids Meteor shower. This annual meteor shower is one of the most active averaging 120 meteors per hour. Geminids meteor shower is visible throughout the whole Earth and is supposed to be one of the most amazing to watch.
- December 19th is the last full moon of the year. This full moon is called the cold moon. Due to the time of year, this moon’s meaning is much more obvious. This moon signifies the cold weather moving in for the winter.
- On December 21st and 22nd, the last notable astronomy event will occur. This event is yet another meteor shower called Ursids Meteor Shower. This meteor shower originates from one of the most notable constellations, the little dipper. This last meteor shower is actually one of the least active as there are only a couple of meteors per hour.
Many astronomical events happen year to year, yet people aren’t aware of them. Astronomy has been the basis for life as we know it. Throughout history, the human species has based time, travel, and calendars on these phenomenon, yet, they aren’t payed attention to as much anymore. People can learn a lot from watching these meteor showers or diving deeper into the meanings of every full moon a little bit more.
Author: Marshall Space Flight Center. Tag: Taurid meteor. (2021). Retrieved 9 May 2021, from https://blogs.nasa.gov/Watch_the_Skies/tag/taurid-meteor/
Cheryl Kahla. Space calendar 2021: New missions, launches, celestial events and more. (2021). Retrieved 9 May 2021, from https://www.msn.com/en-za/news/other/space-calendar-2021-new-missions-launches-celestial-events-and-more/ar-BB1df08w?%253Bocid=UP21DHP
Delta Aquariids. (2021). Retrieved 9 May 2021, from https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/asteroids-comets-and-meteors/meteors-and-meteorites/delta-aquariids/in-depth/
Draconids Meteor Shower 2021. (2021). Retrieved 9 May 2021, from https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/meteor-shower/draconid.html
Everything You Need To Know About Strawberry Moons. (2021). Retrieved 9 May 2021, from https://www.bustle.com/articles/167938-what-is-a-strawberry-moon-heres-how-the-june-full-moon-got-its-name
Geminids. (2021). Retrieved 9 May 2021, from https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/asteroids-comets-and-meteors/meteors-and-meteorites/geminids/in-depth/
James Webb Space Telescope - Webb/NASA. (2021). Retrieved 9 May 2021, from https://www.jwst.nasa.gov/
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lunar eclipse. (2021). Retrieved 9 May 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lunar%20eclipse
MATT WILLIAMS. What is a Hunter’s Moon?. (2021). Retrieved 9 May 2021, from https://www.universetoday.com/61121/hunters-moon/
Orionids. (2021). Retrieved 9 May 2021, from https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/asteroids-comets-and-meteors/meteors-and-meteorites/orionids/in-depth/
Perseids. (2021). Retrieved 9 May 2021, from https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/asteroids-comets-and-meteors/meteors-and-meteorites/perseids/in-depth/
Plato Quotes. (n.d.). BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved May 9, 2021, from BrainyQuote.com Web site: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/plato_385302
Ursids Meteor Shower | Night Sky Network. (2021). Retrieved 9 May 2021, from https://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/event-view.cfm?Event_ID=54344
Written By Yash Tripathi. Full Buck Moon Spiritual Meaning: What Does A Full Buck Moon Signify? Read Here. (2021). Retrieved 9 May 2021, from https://www.republicworld.com/technology-news/science/full-buck-moon-spiritual-meaning-what-does-a-full-buck-moon-signifies.html