New Mexico January 11, 2021
Don’t Miss The 10 Best Stargazing Events That Will Light Up The New Mexico Sky In 2021
Get ready to mark your calendars and clean your favorite pair of binoculars. 2021 is set to be an impressive year when it comes to viewing the night sky here in New Mexico. Annual meteor showers, multiple-planet conjunctions, and a total eclipse will fill up your calendar this year.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Venus-Jupiter conjunction, February 11
Remember the Christmas Star back in December? That impressive sight was the visually close encounter of our solar system's two largest planets: Jupiter and Saturn. A similar event is set to happen in February, albeit on a slightly smaller scale.
During the Venus-Jupiter conjunction, the two planets will appear to cuddle each other in the early morning hours on February 11 in the southeastern horizon.
2. Lyrids meteor shower, April 22
During the second annual meteor shower of the year (the previous took place just after New Year's day), you can expect to see a meteor shoot across the sky every three minutes. There will be a full moon that night but it should set fairly early in the evening, so you'll have a few hours before bedtime to watch the light show.
3. Eta Aquarids meteor shower, May 6
This early summer meteor shower will appear even more dramatic than its spring predecessor, where you can expect to spot an average of a meteor every other minute at its peak. The best viewing time for this shower is just after midnight near the Aquarius constellation but you can see the meteors from any part of the sky that night.
4. Blood moon total lunar eclipse, May 26
One of two summer eclipses, the blood moon total lunar eclipse will be visible to those of us in the western U.S. The color is the result of the sun's rays passing through the Earth's atmosphere and refracting red light onto the moon, hence the bloody name.
However, you'll have to stay up pretty late on a work night to see this eclipse. The eclipse
begins at approximately 3:45 a.m. and reaches its maximum eclipse at 5:15 a.m.
near the horizon.
5. Venus-Mars conjunction, July 12
Another season, another conjunction. This pairing of Venus and Mars, our nearest planetary neighbors, will be easy enough to see through a backyard telescope or a good pair of binoculars in the western sky. You'll also have the benefit of a tiny sliver of a crescent moon barely lighting up the sky that night.
6. Delta Aquarids meteor shower, July 28
Much like April's Lyrids meteor shower, you can expect to see a meteor every three minutes during this shower. The moon will be pretty full that evening and since it rises at 11:23 p.m., you'll have a limited amount of time to get the best view of the meteors streaming across a dark sky. However, the effort is still worth the view so set aside a little time that evening to watch the meteor shower.
7. Perseids meteor shower, August 12
Just a couple weeks after the Delta meteor shower, you'll be treated to the impressive Perseids shower. During this, you can expect to spot a meteor per minute, many appearing bright and showy across the sky. The moon won't light up the sky during this event, so you'll have plenty of time to sit back and watch this impressive show.
8. Mars-Mercury conjunction, August 18
After sunset, you'll be able to spot the Mars-Mercury conjunction above the western horizon. The little planets almost appear to overlap and when viewed through a telescope, you'll get to see just how little distance appears between them.
9. Orionids meteor shower, October 21
This meteor shower will take place the night after a full moon but you can still catch a view of meteors flitting across the sky on its peak night. Find a dark location with little light pollution and you can expect to see an average of one meteor every three minutes.
10. Geminids meteor shower, December 13
Finish off the year with one of the most impressive meteor showers to brighten up our skies. At its peak, you can expect to see upwards of a hundred or more meteors shoot across the sky each hour. The waning moon sets between 2 and 3 a.m. on the 13th and 14th but you can still expect to see an impressive light show.
Those are some impressive sights to see this year! For the best views of those night shows, you’ll want to pay a visit to some of New Mexico’s darkest places that have little to no light pollution. Read about our suggestions in
These Are Some Of The Darkest Places In New Mexico And You’ll Want To Visit.