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Monday, March 4, 2024
March 4, 2024

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Keep on eye on the night sky


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Keep an eye on the sky this year, because 2023 is set to pack a big punch for stargazers.

Below, find a list of some of the year’s biggest night sky events that you will not need special equipment to view.

  • Lyrid Meteor Shower

Signaling the beginning of springtime, the Lyrid Meteor Shower is expected to be visible from Colorado in April. The shower gets its name from the constellation Lyra and is one of the oldest meteor showers on record.

According to EarthSky.org, Lyrid meteors typically have glowing trains of ionized gas that last a few seconds each.

This year, the shower is expected to peak on the evening of April 21 into the following morning. At peak, the shower has been known to produce up to 100 meteors per hour.

  • Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower

In 2023, the Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower will be visible for the last time until 2061. The shower can be seen in the direction of the Aquarius constellation in May, and is made possible by debris from the comet Halley.

The shower will peak on the night of May 5 into the morning of May 6. During this time, between 60-100 meteors per hour may be seen.

  • Perseids Meteor Shower

One of the most popular meteor showers of the year arrives in August with the Perseids Meteor Shower. Perseids meteors are part of an annual shower that typically arrives in late summer.

“Perseids frequently leave long ‘wakes’ of light and color behind them as they streak through Earth’s atmosphere. The Perseids are one of the most plentiful showers with about 50 to 100 meteors seen per hour,” according to a report by NASA.

This year, the shower is expected to peak on the night of Aug. 11 and into the morning of Aug. 12.

  • Annular Solar Eclipse

For the first time since May 2012, an annular solar eclipse, or “ring of fire,” will be visible in 2023. In this rare event, the moon covers the center of the sun, leaving only a ring of light around its outer edges.

This year, the eclipse will occur on the morning of Oct. 14.

“The eclipse passes over the Four Corners region and many national parks and national monuments will be prime viewing locations,” according to GreatAmericanEclipse.com.

  • Geminid Meteor Shower

The Geminid Meteor Shower is often said to be the most reliable shower of the year. The shower is caused by debris from an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon, often producing up to 100 multicolored Geminid meteors per hour.

This year, it is expected to peak on Dec. 14 at midnight and into the following morning.