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Here's why 2023 is one of the best years for stargazing

Meteor showers, partial eclipses, a blue moon: it's going to be a stellar year.

Erika Mailman
Written by
Erika Mailman

It’s a new year and we start marking our calendars with upcoming events, travel to look forward to, family celebrations...and we can also pencil in a date with the sky. As NPR reports, 2023 is a great year for stargazing and appreciating other celestial happenings—and here are some of the highlights.

Just this weekend, on January 22, Saturn and Venus will be close to each other, both visible to the naked eye. And about a month later, by March 1, Venus will have ambled over to Jupiter: again, two discernible planets in close proximity.

This summer, in August we’ll get to experience a blue moon, which is really two moons: two full ones in one month. Why is the color blue tossed in there? According to Brittanica, the idea of the moon being blue is as preposterous as a cow jumping over it—it’s simply a way to express how rare a blue moon is, by calling it impossible. (But a blue moon actually occurs every 2.5 years, so it’s not impossible or rare).

We all love meteor showers, and this year promises two strong ones that should, if conditions are right, yield glimpses of 150 meteors an hour at the height. These are the Perseids in August and the Geminids in December.

And if you are intrigued by the phrase ‘burning ring of fire,’ you’ll want to tune into the sky on October 14, when we’ll experience a partial eclipse. That’s called a burning ring of fire eclipse because the moon doesn’t completely cover the sun, leaving a ring around its perimeter.

As with any of these phenomena, your best chance to see them is to avoid city lights and get to a place where you can see a lot of the sky at once.

Want to catch the sky’s show from a glass dome near Joshua Tree? Book this Airbnb.

Or stargaze from bed from these Washington state domes, or book a room in one of these best hotels for stargazing.

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