Celestial events 2023: The best times for stargazing - including meteor showers, full moons and lunar eclipses

Here is a run down of the big events happening in our skies this year

The new year is here and with it, comes a whole new line-up of reasons to look up at the stars. Some of nature’s most stunning moments involve the moon and stars - and 2023 looks set to be more exciting than ever.

Highlights of the year ahead will include full moons, meteor showers and both lunar and solar eclipses. Other stand out points will be in December when debris from Biela’s Comet will strike earth.

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Whether you are a committed astronomer, would like to take up stargazing as a hobby or just want to catch a glimpse of something special in the sky, the next 12 months are set to be full of surprises.

We’ve put together a full rundown of the best celestial events of the coming 12 months. Included within the list is the date of each expected full moon and lunar eclipse coming up in 2023.

Full moon 2023

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, there will be 13 full moons throughout the year. These are listed below.

  • January 6: Wolf moon
  • February 5: Snow moon
  • March 7: Worm moon
  • April 6: Pink moon
  • May 5: Flower moon
  • June 3: Strawberry moon
  • July 3: Buck moon
  • August 1: Sturgeon moon
  • August 30: Blue moon
  • September 29: Harvest moon
  • October 28: Hunter’s moon
  • November 27: Beaver moon
  • December 26: Cold moon

Meteor showers 2023

Eleven named meteor showers will stream across the sky during 2023. The first of these should be visible in April, with the last taking place on around December 22. As with all celestial events, the best chance you will have of catching a glimpse is by heading to somewhere with low or no light pollution.

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  • Lyrids: April 22-23
  • Eta Aquarids: May 5-6
  • Southern delta Aquariids: July 30-31
  • Alpha Capricornids: July 30-31
  • Perseids: August 12-13
  • Orionids: October 20-21
  • Southern Taurids: November 4-5
  • Northern Taurids: November 11-12
  • Leonids: November 17-18
  • Geminids: December 13-14
  • Ursids: December 21-22
The skies will be hopefully as clear as this for any celestial events in 2023The skies will be hopefully as clear as this for any celestial events in 2023
The skies will be hopefully as clear as this for any celestial events in 2023 | sborisov - stock.adobe.com

Lunar eclipse 2023

Perhaps one of the rarest celestial events, lunar eclipses are few and far between during 2023 and most will not be visible over the skies of Europe. One of the only full lunar eclipses will take place on April 20, but this will only be visible from Australia, South East Asia and other parts of the Southern Hemisphere.

One partial eclipse which may be visible from the UK on October 28. A partial eclipse is when the sun, earth and moon don’t exactly align and only some of the moon passes through shadow.

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