Blood moons, eclipse, super moons, meteor showers, northern lights and so much more. Make 2019 the year you explore the wonders of the night sky. Here is our short list of some of the Top Celestial Events to experience in Cook County this year.
- Lunar eclipse - Super blood wolf moon eclipse on January 20-21, 2019. The first full moon of the year in January is known as the "wolf moon" and this year, due to the orbit of the earth, the moon will appear larger than usual thereby coining the term "super moon." At about around 8:30pm, the earth will start to cast it's shadow on the moon and around 10:40pm on Sunday night the moon will reach peak eclipse. Adding to the moons greatness, this will be the last full lunar eclipse visible in the Northern Hemisphere until May 26, 2021!
- Spring Equinox & Full Super Moon. On March 20, the sun will shine directly on the equator and there will seemingly be equal amounts of daylight around the world on this day. This day also marks the end of winter and welcomes the first day of spring! In the evening of March 21st, the moon will be the third and final super moon of 2019. For those adventurous spirits, it is a great night to plan a full moon cross-country ski or snowshoe on your favorite trail.
- The moon and Jupiter align. In the early morning on April 23rd, the moon and Jupiter will get shockingly close each other and it will look like Jupiter is attaching itself to the moon. Around this same time will be the peak of the Lyrids meteor shower.
- Meteor Showers. We can rely on the Perseid (August) and Geminid (December) meteor showers to put on spectacular shows annually, however in 2019 the peak of these annual meteor showers will compete with the moon for brightness. The meteor shower that will feature the darkest sky this year will occur between May 4-6, 2019 called the Eta Aquarid meteor shower.
- 2nd Annual Dark Sky Festival. Keep your eye on our events calendar for the dates of our 2nd annual Dark Sky Festival. Take a peek at the 2018 event's line up of presentations and mark your calendars for early December in 2019 to celebrate the darkest month of the year!
In addition to these select events, there will be countless opportunities to view remarkable night sky events in 2019 - from northern lights to unique constellation combinations. No matter when your vacation aligns, any night with a clear dark sky is a good night to gaze into the sky and dream about the great unknown.