Night Sky Viewing: 2018

Supermoon Schedule

A supermoon occurs when the moon is at its closest approach to Earth, thereby making it look bigger during a full moon. There are only two scheduled for 2018.

January 2
January 31

Full Moon Schedule

January 2
January 31
March 2
March 31
April 30
May 29
June 28
July 27
August 26
September 25
October 24
November 23
December 22

New Moon Schedule

This marks the best time to view faint objects in or out of the solar system. The light of the moon often obscures these sights.

January 17
February 15
March 17
April 16
May 15
June 13
July 13
August 11
September 9
October 9
November 7
December 7

Eclipse Schedule

January 31. Today there will be a total lunar eclipse best viewed from western North America, Australia, and eastern Asia.

February 15. Today there will be a partial solar eclipse best viewed from Chile, Argentina, and Antarctica.

July 13. Today there will be a partial solar eclipse best viewed from southern Australia and Antarctica.

July 27. Today there will be a total lunar eclipse best viewed from Europe, Africa, Western Australia, and western or Central Asia.

August 11. Today there will be a partial solar eclipse best viewed from northeast Canada, northern Europe, Greenland, Russia, and northern and eastern Asia.

Planet Viewing Schedule

These are the best times to view the planets depending on either proximity or angle of approach.

January 1, Mercury (Western Elongation)
March 15, Mercury (Eastern Elongation)
April 29, Mercury (Western Elongation)
May 9, Jupiter (Opposition)
June 27, Saturn (Opposition)
July 12, Mercury (Eastern Elongation)
July 27, Mars (Opposition)
August 17, Venus (Eastern Elongation)
August 26, Mercury (Western Elongation)
September 7, Neptune (Opposition)
October 23, Uranus (Opposition)
November 6, Mercury (Eastern Elongation)
December 15, Mercury (Western Elongation)

Meteor Shower Schedule

January 3, Quadrantids. Although there will be up to 40 an hour at peak viewing time, it may be difficult to find a good vantage point because of the full moon.

April 22, Lyrids. There will be up to 20 an hour at peak viewing time.

May 6, Eta Aquarids. There will be up to 60 an hour at peak viewing time.

July 28, Delta Aquarids. Although there will be up to 20 an hour at peak viewing time, it may be difficult to find a good vantage point because of the bright moon.

August 12, Perseids. There will be up to 60 an hour at peak viewing time. Although August 12 is the best time to view this meteor shower, you might catch a glimpse anytime from July 17 to August 24.

October 8, Draconids. There will be up to 10 an hour at peak viewing time. Although there won’t be any moonlight to obscure the shower, there are so few meteors per hour that it might not matter.

October 21, Orionids. There will be up to 20 an hour at peak viewing time. This is a bright shower, but some of the splendor may be blotted out by the light of the moon.

November 5, Taurids. There will be up to 10 an hour at peak viewing time. This shower may be viewed from between September 7 to December 10, although you’ll have to get lucky to catch a glimpse since this is such a small show even when viewed at peak performance.

November 17, Leonids. There will be up to 15 an hour at peak viewing time.

December 13, Geminids. This is by far the best opportunity for meteor shower viewing on this list, as there will be up to 120 meteors per hour at peak viewing time–and it should be a colorful display. You can catch a glimpse from December 7 until December 17.

December 21, Ursids. There will be up to 10 an hour at peak viewing time, but the full moon will blot out most of anything you might hope to see.