Thanksgiving Trio Of Planets & Cosmic Events Visible From El Paso
From meteor showers to a trio of planets lining up on Thanksgiving, here are all the celestial events taking place this year visible from the borderland.
We may be nearly halfway through the year, but the heavens aren't done showing off its impressive meteor showers, lunar eclipses, and many more astronomical events slated for this year.
Total Lunar Eclipse
One of the most awesome astronomical events will occur in the first total lunar eclipse of the year. The sun, Earth, and moon will all align perfectly to create a breathtaking total lunar eclipse.
- When: May 26, 2021 / 2:45 a.m. to 6:10 a.m.
- How To See It: This month’s blood moon eclipse will only be visible to skywatchers across the western U.S., and El Pasoans will need to wake up early to see it between 2:45 a.m. - 6:10 a.m. The lunar eclipse will appear reddish in color during the height of the total lunar eclipse; this is why some refer to it as a blood moon.
Perseid Meteor Shower
The Perseid Meteor Showers, the most popular of all the meteor showers, will make their way back this year peaking during the second week of August. Spectators will be able to enjoy two nights with as many as 100 meteors per hour visible in the nearly dark sky as no moon will be out, making for an impressive meteor shower show.
- When: August 11 & 12, 2021 / Just after midnight
- How To See It: Look up to the skies, preferably away from any light pollution, just after midnight.
Saturn, Jupiter & Full Blue Moon
This summer, for one night in August, both Saturn and Jupiter will reach opposition, meaning their yearly position in the sky will be its closest to the Earth. On this same day, on August 22, a blue moon will also shine in line with Jupiter and Saturn.
When: August 22, 2021
How To See It: The trio formation will appear in the southeastern sky just after sunset. Look up and find the moon, and you’ll be able to see two shiny lights next to it, Jupiter and Saturn. The trio of planets will be best visible via a telescope.
Partial Lunar Eclipse
In November, we’ll be treated to an exciting partial lunar eclipse that will be visible across all of North America. November’s lunar eclipse will be very close to a total lunar eclipse, with just a sliver of the moon missing Earth’s dark inner shadow. Because of this, it may be possible for the moon to briefly appear rusty orange or red, similar to what occurs during the height of a total eclipse.
- When: November 19, 2021
- How To See It: The partial lunar eclipse will begin a couple of minutes after midnight, look up and marvel at the beauty of the cosmos do its thing.
A trio of Planets on Thanksgiving
This Thanksgiving, we can give thanks for all that we have while taking in one of the most amazing alignments of Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter. The trio of planets will be lined up just after sunset, with all three outshining every star in that area of the sky.
- When: November 25, 2021
- How To See It: Skywatchers can look up with the naked eye or enhance the view, break out with a telescope. The dazzling formation will be sticking around a few days after Thanksgiving into December.
Geminid Meteor Shower
Another astronomy favorite is the reliable Geminid meteor shower that takes place every year in mid-December. As many as 120 meteors per hour may be counted as the Geminids not only put on a mesmerizing show, but some of the shooting stars also glow in vibrant colors.
- When: December 13 & 14, 2021
- How To See It: The Geminids will be best visible during the second half of the night after the moon has set.