The Quadrantid Meteor Shower was the first substantial meteor shower of 2019. Hopefully you were outside late in the night on January 3, before dawn on January 4. and got some great views, especially with the dark skies as we approached the New Moon on January 6.
January 20 — 21 will be your opportunity to witness a Lunar Eclipse. Provided your skies are clear, observers in North and South America, and western parts of Europe and Africa should have visibility of a Total Lunar Eclipse. While those of you in central and eastern Africa, Europe, and Asia won't see a Total Eclipse, you will still see a Partial Eclipse of the Moon.
Get up early (before sunrise) on January 22 to catch the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter. These two bright celestial bodies will appear within 2.5 degrees of each other so make sure you don't miss the view.
February 4 should be one of the best nights for deep-sky viewing as the New Moon phase will provide the darkest night of the short month. Use Orion Broadband Filters to enhance your view.
Since Mercury's orbit is closer to the Sun than the Earth's, it's typically difficult to observe most times. Setting shortly after the Sun on February 26, this will be one of the best chances to glimpse the smallest and innermost planet in the Solar System.
Get outside for the New Moon on March 6 and enjoy the darkest skies of the month.
From 10:34 — 11:06 pm PDT on March 17 check out the two moon shadows on Jupiter with a telescope. You'll be glad that you did. For better Jupiter shadow transit detail make sure to use an Orion Shorty 1.25" 2x Barlow Lens.
5:58 EDT March 20 will be the Vernal Equinox.
We always love going out in April for the annual Lyrid meteor showers. This year the shower will peak on the morning of April 23. Don't get too excited this year, though, since the skies will be bright as a result of the waning gibbous Moon.
One of the meteor showers created by debris from Comet Halley, the Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower will be visible before dawn around May 5. With the May 4 New Moon, the dark skies will provide a wonderful backdrop. Best to view these from the Southern Hemisphere if you have the ways and means.
June is going to be a great month for giant planet Jupiter. On June 10, Jupiter will be at opposition; illuminated by the Sun at its closest approach to Earth. The next day, June 11, from 10:34 — 11:37 CDT be sure to check out the two moon shadows on Jupiter with a telescope. An Orion Shorty 1.25" 2x Barlow Lens will provide even better Jupiter views.
Grab your astrophotography gear on June 17 and 18 as Mars and Mercury will be a mere ½ degree apart at dusk.
11:54 am EDT June 21 will be Summer Solstice.
July 9 Saturn is at opposition in the constellation of Sagittarius. An Orion Shorty 1.25" 2x Barlow Lens will enhance this view for you.
July 16 and 17 throughout most of Europe, central Asia, and Africa and across the Indian Ocean you'll have the opportunity to witness another Partial Lunar Eclipse. Part of the Full Moon will darken as it passes through Earth's partial shadow.
On the night of July 28 and morning of July 29, the Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower will peak; best viewed after midnight from a dark sky location.
On August 12 — 13 the Perseid Meteor Shower will provide some great views of numerous bright meteors. Even with the Full Moon approaching on August 15, from a dark sky location after midnight you should get a spectacular event.
If you've been itching to view or image Neptune, the night of September 10 will be your best chance as the giant blue planet will be at Opposition and brighter than any other time of the year.
September 23 at 3:50am EDT will be the Autumnal Equinox.
The New Moon on September 28 will provide the darkest skies and best chance to see those fainter deep sky objects.
During the early evening hours of October 8 go out and enjoy Draconid Meteor Shower. While it doesn't produce as many meteors as some other showers, we still love a challenge and know you do too!
On the night of October 21 and morning of October 22 the Orionid Meteor Shower should provide brighter and more frequent meteors than the Draconids a few weeks earlier.
On November 11 the planet Mercury will appear directly between the Earth and the Sun. This rare transit event won't happen again until 2039 and will be best seen from the eastern United States, Central and South America. Get your gear ready — including a solar filter for your telescope!
At dusk on November 23 & 24 will be a Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, with these two bright planets appearing within 1.4 degrees of each other.
Arguably one of the best meteor showers, the Geminids will peak during the evening of December 13 and morning of December 14. They are bright and numerous, so plan to bundle up and enjoy.
December 21 at 11:19pm EST will be Winter Solstice.
The New Moon on December 26 will provide dark skies for all of us to get out there and view all of those fainter deep sky objects.