The night sky has several treats in store for 2022: Expect lunar eclipses, a planetary alignment and meteor showers!
The new year brings not one, but two total lunar eclipses -- the first on the night of May 15-16 and the last on Nov. 8, according to AccuWeather.
The May total lunar eclipse will be visible throughout the entire contiguous U.S., weather permitting of course. Unfortunately for West Coasters, the eclipse will only be visible briefly.
The Western U.S., however, has an advantage for the November lunar eclipse, as the moon will set just before the height of the eclipse on the East Coast.
Lunar eclipses happen when a full moon enters the Earth's shadow, said Andrew Fazekas, the "Night Sky Guy" and science columnist with National Geographic. This makes the moon appear orange or red.
"This is when [the moon] turns that eerie orangey-red color. All the sunsets and sunrises around the Earth are being imparted at the same time as the thin veneer of our atmosphere funnels that light [the sun behind us] onto the surface of the moon," he said.
North Americans may not have the chance to view a total lunar eclipse from home until 2025, according to AccuWeather.
On the morning of June 24, six planets will appear to form a rare alignment with the moon.
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are all bright enough to be seen with the naked eye and will align in order across the eastern sky.
The crescent moon will line up between Venus and Mars.
Two spectacular meteor showers make their annual return in 2022. First the Perseid meteor shower peaks on the night of Aug. 12-13.
The Perseids normally produce 50 to 100 shooting stars per hour, but this year, the shower competes with a bright supermoon that will shine a few nights prior.
Finally, the Geminid meteor shower wraps up the year with a holiday show. The shower normally offers more than 100 meteors per hour, but like the Perseids, it's competing with a bright nearly full moon.
AccuWeather recommends viewing the 2022 Geminids before the moon rises, between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. local time.
PHOTOS: Full Beaver moon's partial eclipse from around the world
2022 full moon schedule, according to NASA
- Wolf Moon: Monday, Jan. 17
- Snow Moon: Wednesday, Feb. 16
- Worm Moon: Friday, March 18
- Pink Moon: Saturday, April 16
- Flower Moon: Monday, May 16 (total lunar eclipse)
- Strawberry Moon: Tuesday, June 14
- Buck Moon: Wednesday, July 13
- Sturgeon Moon: Thursday, Aug. 11
- Harvest Moon: Saturday, Sept. 10
- Hunter's Moon: Sunday, Oct. 9
- Beaver Moon: Tuesday, Nov. 8 (total lunar eclipse)
- Cold Moon: Wednesday, Dec. 7