Whenever life down here on Planet Earth gets a bit too much, there’s something reassuring about being able to escape to the cosmos. Not literally, obviously (unless you’re Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk), but there’s still a certain escapist bliss in studying the night sky. From eclipses and shooting stars to meteor showers, planetary alignments and moon phases, space is the greatest show off Earth.
Although pros will want to splash out on a fancy telescope, for most of us stargazing is free, infinitely rewarding and a great way to fill up all that free time we seem to have on our hands these days. If you can, it helps to find a spot far away from the light pollution of the city (here are the best stargazing spots in the UK and USA), but the brightest astronomical phenomena are easily visible from your local park or even your window – as long as it isn’t cloudy, of course.
This year you’ll be able to spot the regular meteor showers and full moons (each with its own name) as well as a total lunar eclipse and two spectacular solar eclipses. To help you spot shooting stars, see a ‘pink moon’ or tell your penumbral from your annular eclipses, we’ve pulled together a list of the upcoming astronomical events we’re excited about. Read on for the most jaw-dropping cosmic events of 2022.