New astronomical events to occur in 2018


The Geminids are one of the most well known meteor showers.

Rebecca Crook, Ranger Review Editor

Since many rare and attractive space events occurred last year, individuals have become more interested in what is happening outside of this tiny planet. Thousands of Americans witnessed the August 2017 total solar eclipse and last years events could lead people to wonder what will happen astronomically this year.  

On March seventh through eighth, three planets will line up and they will all be visible to the naked eye. Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter will all appear to be lined up, one behind another. Sky watchers will be able to see the gas giants and our sister planet all at once without having to adjust their telescopes or binoculars.

A full moon during the beginning of spring has the possibility to have a blue hue across it the night of March 31st. The blue color can come from volcanic activity or wildfires since the dust particles can block out the naturally red light projected onto the moon. “A blue moon usually takes place around once every two and a half years, but stargazers will be in for a treat as two occur this year,” according to

Closer to summertime, Jupiter and Saturn will reach opposition, which is the closest a planet will be to Earth. This means that the planets will appear bigger and brighter, which makes them easier to see with the naked eye. Some will even be able to see Saturn’s rings if they view it with certain magnification. Jupiter’s opposition is scheduled to be May ninth and Saturn’s will follow a month later at June twenty seventh.

On August 11th, a partial solar eclipse will take place in the upper northern hemispheres of the earth. Only parts of Northeastern Canada, the Atlantic Ocean, and Northern Europe will be able to see the moon pass in front of the sun. The shadow will pass over Greenland and Iceland as well, plus parts of China and Russia. The best viewing location, according to National Geographic, are remote parts of Russia where there is less crowding. Totality should reach up to thirty seven percent in the city of Harbin minutes before sunset.

Immediately after the solar eclipse, the infamous Perseids meteor shower will light up across the sky on August twelfth. “The Perseids meteor shower, made up of dust particles left behind by the Swift-Tuttle Comet, can produce up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak,” says AOL Space Calendar. The Perseids will happen to fall on a weekend and will be visible from all angles of the world, so billions of people should be able to witness hundreds of flying meteors.

Contrary to past years, 2018 has less astronomical events that will occur this year and only a few of which will be rare. Citizens who are interested in viewing these events should save these dates because some of them occur once in a lifetime.