Celestial Events
April 22 to December 29 2016
Farm Stories
Expressive Arts
Contact Us
April 22 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will
be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 05:24 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the
Full Pink Moon because it marked the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the first
spring flowers. This moon has also been known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Growing Moon, and the Egg Moon.
Many coastal tribes called it the Full Fish Moon because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

April 21, 22 - Lyrids Meteor Shower. The Lyrids is an average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors /hr at
its peak. It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, which was discovered in 1861.
The shower runs annually from April 16-25. It peaks this year on the night of the night of the 21st and morning of the
22nd. These meteors can sometimes produce bright dust trails that last for several seconds. Unfortunately this year
the glare from the full moon will block out all but the brightest meteors. If you are patient, you should still be able to
catch a few good ones. Best viewing will be from a dark location
after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the
constellation Lyra
, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

May 6 - New Moon. The best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because
there is no moonlight to interfere.

May 5, 6 - Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower. The Eta Aquarids is an above average shower, capable of producing up
to 60 meteors/hr at its peak. Most of the activity is seen in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, the
rate can reach about 30 meteors/hr. It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet Halley, which has known
and observed since ancient times. The shower runs annually from April 19 to May 28. It peaks this year on the night
of May 5 and the morning of May 6. The new moon will ensure dark skies this year for what could be an excellent
show. Best viewing will be from a dark location
after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but
can appear anywhere in the sky.

May 9 - Rare Transit of Mercury Across the Sun. The planet Mercury will move directly between the Earth and
the Sun.
Viewers with telescopes and approved solar filters will be able to observe the dark disk of the planet
Mercury moving across the face of the Sun
. This is an extremely rare event that occurs only once every few years.
There will be one other transit of Mercury in 2019 and then the next one will not take place until 2039. This transit will
be visible throughout North America, Mexico, Central America, South America, and parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa.
The best place to view this event in its entirety will be the eastern United States and eastern South America.
May 14 - International Astronomy Day. Astronomy Day is an annual event intended to provide a means of interaction between the general public
and various astronomy enthusiasts, groups and professionals. The theme of Astronomy Day is "Bringing Astronomy to the People" and on this day
astronomy and stargazing clubs and other organizations around the world will plan special events. You can find out about special local events by
contacting your local astronomy club or planetarium. You can also find more about Astronomy Day by checking the Web site for the Astronomical
League.

May 21 - Full Moon, Blue Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated.
This phase occurs at 21:15 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Flower Moon because this was the time of
year when spring flowers appeared in abundance. This moon has also been known as the Full Corn Planting Moon and the Milk Moon. Since this is
the third of four full moons in this season, it is known as a blue moon. This rare calendar event only happens once every few years, giving rise to the
term, 'once in a blue moon'. There are normally only three full moons in each season of the year. But since full moons occur every 29.53 days,
occasionally a season will contain 4 full moons. The extra full moon of the season is known as a blue moon. Blue moons occur on average once
every 2.7 years.

June 5 - New Moon. The best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to
interfere.

June 20 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase
occurs at 11:02 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Strawberry Moon because it signaled the time of year to
gather ripening fruit. It also coincides with the peak of the strawberry harvesting season. This moon has also been known as the Full Rose Moon
and the Full Honey Moon.

June 20 - June Solstice. The June solstice occurs at 22:34 UTC. The North Pole of the earth will be tilted toward the Sun, which will have reached
its northernmost position in the sky and will be directly over the Tropic of Cancer at 23.44 degrees north latitude. This is the first day of summer
(summer solstice) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of winter (winter solstice) in the Southern Hemisphere.

July 4 - New Moon. The best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to
interfere.

July 4 - Juno at Jupiter. NASA's Juno spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at Jupiter after a five year journey. Launched on August 5, 2011, Juno will
be inserted into a polar orbit around the giant planet on or around July 4, 2016. From this orbit the spacecraft will study Jupiter's atmosphere and
magnetic field. Juno will remain in orbit until October 2017, when the spacecraft will be de-orbited to crash into Jupiter.

July 19 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase
occurs at 22:57 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Buck Moon because the male buck deer would begin to
grow their new antlers at this time of year. This moon has also been known as the Full Thunder Moon and the Full Hay Moon.

July 28, 29 - Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower. The Delta Aquarids is an average shower that can produce up to 20 meteors/hr at its peak. It is
produced by debris left behind by comets Marsden and Kracht. The shower runs annually from July 12 to August 23. It peaks this year on the night
of July 28 and morning of July 29. The second quarter moon will block most of the fainter meteors this year but if you are patient you should still be
able to catch quite a few good ones. Best viewing will be from a dark location
after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but
can appear anywhere in the sky.

August 2 - New Moon. The best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to
interfere.

August 11, 12 - Perseids Meteor Shower. The Perseids is one of the best meteor showers to observe, producing up to 60 meteors/hr at its peak.
It is produced by comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862. The Perseids are famous for producing a large number of bright meteors. The
shower runs annually from July 17 to August 24. It peaks this year on the night of August 11 and the morning of August 12. The waxing gibbous
moon will set shortly after midnight, leaving fairly dark skies for what should be an excellent early morning show. Best viewing will be from a dark
location
after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Perseus, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

August 16 - Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation. The planet Mercury reaches greatest eastern elongation of 27.4 degrees from the Sun.
This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the planet low in the western
sky just after sunset.

August 18 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This
phase occurs at 09:26 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Sturgeon Moon because the large sturgeon fish of
the Great Lakes and other major lakes were more easily caught at this time of year. This moon has also been known as the Green Corn Moon and
the Grain Moon.

August 27 - Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter. A spectacular conjunction of Venus and Jupiter will be visible in the evening sky. The two bright
planets will be extremely close, appearing only 0.06 degrees apart.
Look for this impressive pairing in the western sky just after sunset.

September 1 - New Moon.The best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to
interfere.

September 1 - Annular Solar Eclipse. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is too far away from the Earth to completely cover the Sun.
This results in a ring of light around the darkened Moon. The Sun's corona is not visible during an annular eclipse. The path of the eclipse will begin
off the eastern coast of central Africa and travel through Gabon, Congo, Tanzania, and Madagascar before ending in the Indian Ocean. A partial
eclipse will be visible throughout most of Africa and the Indian Ocean.

September 16 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This
phase occurs at 19:05 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Corn Moon because the corn is harvested around
this time of year. This moon is also known as the Harvest Moon. The Harvest Moon is the full moon that occurs closest to the September equinox
each year.

September 16 - Penumbral Lunar Eclipse. A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the Earth's partial shadow, or
penumbra. During this type of eclipse the Moon will darken slightly but not completely. The partial eclipse will be visible throughout most of eastern
Europe, eastern Africa, Asia, and western Australia.

September 22 - September Equinox. The September equinox occurs at 14:21 UTC. The Sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be
nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. This is also the first day of fall (autumnal equinox) in the Northern Hemisphere and the
first day of spring (vernal equinox) in the Southern Hemisphere.

October 1 - New Moon. The best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to
interfere.

October 7 - Draconids Meteor Shower. The Draconids is a minor meteor shower producing only about 10 meteors/hr. It is produced by dust
grains left behind by comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner, which was first discovered in 1900. The Draconids is an unusual shower in that the best viewing
time is in the early evening instead of early morning like most other showers. The shower runs annually from October 6-10 and peaks this year on
the night of the 7th. The first quarter moon will block the fainter meteors in the early evening. It will set shortly
after midnight leaving darker skies for
observing any lingering stragglers. Meteors will r
adiate from the constellation Draco, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

October 16 - Full Moon, Supermoon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully
illuminated. This phase occurs at 04:23 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Hunters Moon because at this
time of year the leaves are falling and the game is fat and ready to hunt. This moon has also been known as the Travel Moon and the Blood Moon.
This is also the first of three supermoons for 2016. The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter
than usual.

October 20, 21 - Orionids Meteor Shower. The Orionids is an average shower producing up to 20 meteors/hr at its peak. It is produced by dust
grains left behind by comet Halley, which has been known and observed since ancient times. The shower runs annually from October 2 to November
7. It peaks this year on the night of October 21 and the morning of October 22. The second quarter moon will block some of the fainter meteors this
year, but the Orionids tend to be fairly bright so it could still be a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location
after midnight. Meteors will
radiate from the constellation Orion, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

October 30 - New Moon. The best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to
interfere.

November 4, 5 - Taurids Meteor Shower. The Taurids is a long-running minor meteor shower producing only about 5-10 meteors/hr. It is
unusual in that it consists of two separate streams. The first is produced by dust grains left behind by Asteroid 2004 TG10. The second stream is
produced by debris left behind by Comet 2P Encke. The shower runs annually from September 7 to December 10. It peaks this year on the night of
November 4. The first quarter moon will set
just after midnight leaving dark skies for viewing. Best viewing will be just after midnight from a dark
location far away from city lights. Meteors will
radiate from the constellation Taurus, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

November 14 - Full Moon, Supermoon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be fully
illuminated. This phase occurs at 13:52 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Beaver Moon because this was
the time of year to set the beaver traps before the swamps and rivers froze. It has also been known as the Frosty Moon and the Hunter's Moon. This
is also the second of three supermoons for 2016. The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than
usual.

November 16, 17 - Leonids Meteor Shower. The Leonids is an average shower, producing up to 15 meteors/hr at its peak. This shower is
unique in that it has a cyclonic peak about every 33 years where hundreds of meteors/hr can be seen. That last of these occurred in 2001. The
Leonids is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Tempel-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1865. The shower runs annually from November
6-30. It peaks this year on the night of the 16th and morning of the 17th. The waning gibbous moon will block many of the fainter meteors this year,
but if you are patient you should be able to catch quite a few good ones. Best viewing will be from a dark location
after midnight. Meteors will radiate
from the constellation Leo
, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

November 29 - New Moon. The best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight
to interfere.

December 11 - Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation. The planet Mercury reaches greatest eastern elongation of 20.8 degrees from the
Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky.
Look for the planet low in the
western sky just after sunset.


December 13, 14 - Geminids Meteor Shower. The Geminids is the king of the meteor showers. It is considered by many to be the best shower in
the heavens, producing up to 120 multicolored meteors/hr at its peak.
It is produced by debris left behind by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon,
which was discovered in 1982. The shower runs annually from December 7-17. It peaks this year on the night of the 13th and morning of the 14th.
The nearly full moon will block out many of the fainter meteors this year, but the Geminids are so bright and numerous that it could still be a good
show. Best viewing will be from a dark location
after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Gemini, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

December 14 - Full Moon, Supermoon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully
illuminated. This phase occurs at 00:06 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Cold Moon because this is the
time of year when the cold winter air settles in and the nights become long and dark. This moon has also been known as the Full Long Nights Moon
and the Moon Before Yule. This is the last of three supermoons for 2016. The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly
larger and brighter than usual.

December 21 - December Solstice. The December solstice occurs at 10:44 UTC. The South Pole of the earth will be tilted toward the Sun, which
will have reached its southernmost position in the sky and will be directly over the Tropic of Capricorn at 23.44 degrees south latitude. This is the
first day of winter (winter solstice) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of summer (summer solstice) in the Southern Hemisphere.

December 21, 22 - Ursids Meteor Shower. The Ursids is a minor meteor shower producing about 5-10 meteors/hr. It is produced by dust grains
left behind by comet Tuttle, which was first discovered in 1790. The shower runs annually from December 17-25. It peaks this year on the night of
the 21st and morning of the 22nd. The second quarter moon will block many of the fainter meteors. But if you are patient, you might still be able to
catch a few of the brighter ones. Best viewing will be
just after midnight from a dark location far away from city lights. Meteors will radiate from the
constellation Ursa Minor
, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

December 29 - New Moon. The best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight
to interfere.