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2020 Astronomical Event Calendar


This listing gives notable astronomical events in our solar system, including eclipses, meteor showers, periodic comets, phases of the moon, and conjunctions of the planets.

January 2020

Jan 3-4: Quadrantids meteor shower
Jan 10: Full Moon phase (Wolf supermoon)
Jan 10: Partial lunar eclipse
Jan 24: New Moon phase


February 2020

Feb 9: Full Moon phase (Snow supermoon)
Feb 20: Mercury at greatest Eastern elongation
Feb 23: New Moon phase


March 2020

Mar 9: Full Moon phase (Worm supermoon)
Mar 20: Vernal equinox (03:50 UTC)
Mar 24: New Moon phase
Mar 24: Mercury at greatest Western elongation
Mar 24: Venus at greatest Eastern elongation


April 2020

Apr 8: Full Moon phase (Growing supermoon)
Apr 22-23: Lyrid meteors
Apr 23: New Moon phase


May 2020

May 6-7: Eta Aquarid meteors
May 7: Full Moon phase (Flower moon)
May 22: New Moon phase


June 2020

Jun 4: Mercury at greatest Eastern elongation
Jun 5: Full Moon phase (Strawberry moon)
Jun 5: Partial lunar eclipse
Jun 5: Jupiter at opposition
Jun 21: New Moon phase
Jun 21: Partial solar eclipse
Jun 22: Summer Solstice(21:44 UTC)


July 2020

Jul 5: Full Moon phase (Buck moon)
Jul 5: Partial lunar eclipse
Jul 14: Jupiter at opposition
Jul 20: New Moon phase
Jul 20: Saturn at opposition
Jul 22: Mercury at greatest Western elongation
Jul 23: Comet NEOWISE closest approach (naked-eye visible)
Jul 28-29: Delta Aquarids meteors

Jul 14: Emirates Hope Mars launch
Jul 23: China Tianwen-1 Mars launch
Jul 30: NASA Mars 2020 Perseverance launch


August 2020

Aug 3: Full Moon phase
Aug 12-13: Perseid meteors
Aug 13: Venus at greatest Western elongation
Aug 19: New Moon phase


September 2020

Sep 2: Full Moon phase (Sturgeon moon)
Sep 11: Neptune at opposition
Sep 17: New Moon phase
Sep 22: Autumnal Equinox(13:31 UTC)


October 2020

Oct 1: Full Moon phase (Hunter's moon)
Oct 1: Mercury at greatest Eastern elongation
Oct 7: Draconids meteors
Oct 13: Mars at Opposition
Oct 16: New Moon phase
Oct 21-22: Orionid meteors
Oct 31: Full Moon phase (Blue Moon)
Oct 31: Uranus at Opposition


November 2020

Nov 4-5: Taurids meteors
Nov 10: Mercury at greatest Western elongation
Nov 15: New Moon phase
Nov 17-18: Leonid meteors
Nov 30: Full Moon phase (Beaver moon)
Nov 30: Partial lunar eclipse


December 2020

Dec 13-14: Geminid meteors
Dec 14: New Moon phase
Dec 14: Total solar eclipse
Dec 21: Winter solstice (10:02 UTC)
Dec 21: Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Dec 21-22: Ursid meteors
Dec 30: Full Moon phase (Cold moon)

Dec TBA: Japan Hayabusa2 asteroid sample return
Dec TBA: China Chang'e 5 lunar mission launch





Definitions:

Apogee: point in the Moon's orbit when it is farthest from Earth.

Conjunction: Occurs when two or more bodies appear close together in the sky.

Elongation: is the apparent angular separation of an object from the Sun. Greatest elongation is best for viewing as it is at it's highest point above the horizon.

Inferior conjunction: When planet Mercury or Venus pass between the Sun and the Earth.

Occultation: Passage of one object in front of a smaller one, thus obscuring all or part of the background object from view.

Opposition: When a planet farther from the Sun than Earth appears opposite the Sun in the sky. This is the best time to observe a planet as it is closet to the Earth.

Perigee: point in the Moon's orbit when it is nearest to Earth.

Stationary: Object appears motionless in the sky due to the turning point between its direct and retrograde motion.

Blue moon: Second full moon to occur in a calendar month.

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