WABASH VALLEY (WTHI-TV) - 2021 is set to wow stargazers in the Wabash Valley. So grab the binoculars or your telescopes and get ready for another fascinating year! Oh, and don't forget to mark your calendars.
Jupiter and Mercury Conjunction
We will start off the year with another conjunction. Jupiter and Mercury are set to appear very close together on the morning of March 5th. You'll have to get up around 6:30 EST in the morning and look in the eastern horizon to view the conjunction.
Supermoon Full Moon
Fast forward to April, May, and June where a supermoon will occur each month.
A supermoon is essentially when the moon is at its closest point to earth on its orbit and the full moon will look bigger and brighter.
The best viewing time will be right after moonrise and before moonset.
Total Lunar Eclipse - "Blood Moon"
Probably the biggest astronomical event for us here in the Wabash Valley, will be a Total Lunar Eclipse on the evening of May 26. This happens when the sun, the earth, and the moon align perfectly. The Earth will cast a shadow on the moon turning it a reddish color that gives it, its name a "blood Moon".
Partial Solar Eclipse
A partial Solar Eclipse is set to happen on June 10th. This is when the moon will pass close in the path of the sun.
For us in the Valley, the sun will have just a small sliver of the shadow around 6:30 EDT in the morning and last for only 5 minutes.
2021 Meteor Showers
- April 16th to April 30th
- Peaks - April 21-22
- Look in the southern sky
- April 19th to May 28th
- Peaks - May 4-5
- Look northward
- Southern Delta Aquariids
- July 12th to August 23rd
- Peaks - July 28-29
- Look southward
- July 17th to August 26th
- Peaks - Aug 11-12
- Look northward
- October 6 to October 10
- Peaks - October 7-8
- November 6 to November 30
- Peaks - November 16-17
Other Astronomical News for 2021
N.A.S.A.'s Perseverance Rover
NASA's Perseverance land rover is set to land on Mars on February 18th. On this rover, a new helicopter, named Ingenuity, will all help to look for ancient microbial life, look at the climate and geology, and collect rock and sediment.
James Webb Space Telescope
NASA is hoping to finally send the James Webb Space Telescope to space to help further understand the solar system, our galaxy, and the universe. This telescope will be the successor to the popular and historical Hubble telescope.
Coming in a few years...
In April of 2024 we will see an impressive and rare Total Solar Eclipse in our area.