2023 Observing Program

Throughout the 2023 calendar year AWB will be running a series of observing programs that highlight a series of skywatching events ranging from eclipses, meteor showers and planetary and lunar encounters.  We've carefully curated our list to include events  that are visible across large portions of the globe ,and are accessible mostly with the unaided eyes, but in some cases, enhanced with the use of binoculars and telescopes. 

We invite individuals, astronomical clubs/associations, educational and outreach institutes to join us in celebrating the wonders of the night sky. Send us your observational reports and share your photos on our social media channels by using our hashtag #onepeopleonesky to highlight our globally shared sky heritage.

Credit: Andrew Fazekas
March 1  Venus-Jupiter Sunset Conjunction

Over the last week of February, Venus and Jupiter, will appear to slowly converge in the southwest skies.  This evening these super-bright worlds  finally make their closest approach to each other, passing within only a half degree of each other. That’s so close that you can see the disks of both worlds clearly in the same field of view through even the tiniest of backyard telescopes! 

Credit: Andrew Fazekas
May 23  Mars-Moon - Venus Sunset Conjunction   (Beauty Without Borders Photo Campaign) 

As soon as the sun sets, enjoy an eye-catching encounter between Mars, Moon and Venus, three of the closest and brightest neighbouring worlds. The shimmering trio hang in the western sky together in an arc formation. On the 23rd look for the crescent moon to hop in between Venus and Mars. Closer inspection with binoculars will reveal that the moon is also joined by Gemini constellation’s  twin bright stars of Castor and Pollux. 

August 12/13  Perseid Meteor Shower Peak

Considered one of the most intense annual meteor showers, the Perseids regularly produce up to 60 shooting stars per hour at its peak. Every mid-August Earth slams into a cloud of sand-grain sized particles shed by a passing comet, which produces a flurry of shooting stars appearing in the skies above as each meteor burns up in the upper atmosphere.

 And this year promises to be particularly good in terms of performance since its peak on the night of August 12, into the following pre-dawn hours, will coincide with only a waning crescent moon in the sky. 

October 14 Annular Solar Eclipse

Considered an amazing opening act to the total solar eclipse 6 months later next year April, here’s your chance to see another spectacular natural phenomena grace our skies. This time lucky people along a narrow path in parts of the Northern Hemisphere will get to see a “ring of fire” eclipse of the sun. Also known as an annular solar eclipse, this stunning event occurs when the moon’s disk is too small to cover the entire sun, and it leaves a ring of sunshine around the dark lunar silhouette. 

On either side of this pathway, weather permitting a much larger region of the world will be able to witness a partial solar eclipse, While it may be not be possible for some of us to make it into the ring of fire’s thin path, hundreds of millions more will be well placed to witness an impress partial solar eclipse. Large parts of North America, Central and South America, will see at least a part of the sun blocked by the moon to varying degree. The full eclipse path starts in the United States at 9:13 am PDT in the morning over central Oregon, crosses Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, and ends at sunset in Brazil. 

December 13/14 Geminid Meteor Shower Peaks

While not as famous as its Persied cousin in August, the Geminids are a great sky show which astronomers estimate will have meteors fall at the rate of up to 120 per hour overnight on 13th to 14th, making this one of the most intense meteor showers of the year. And since the near new moon will be out of the night sky entirely, you’ll get to see even the fainter shooting stars, making the Geminids the best meteor shower of the entire year. 

Our friends at Celestron has produced a detailed calendar of 2023 sky events!

For printable versions, click on the image below.