The year's special events in the sky



Sun:   Looking at the Sun either with the unaided eye or through binoculars or a telescope is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS !
here  to find out how to observe the Sun safely.



Moon Phases: 

The Moon is ideal for viewing in the week centred on the First Quarter phase, both regarding the sights presented and the most convenient time for observing (evenings). In addition, it is quite high in the sky at sunset. First Quarter in 2022 will occur on the following dates:

2022:    January 21;   February 20;   March 22;   April 20;   May 20;   May 31;   June 18;   July 17;  August 16;   September 14;   October 13;   November 11;   December 11.



Eclipses in 2022:



TOTAL, MAY 16:   This total lunar eclipse will not be visible from Australia, as it will end before the Moon rises. It will be seen from the eastern parts of the United States of America, eastern Canada, and all of Central America and South America. Brazil will have the best view.

The next total lunar eclipse visible from Australia will occur on this night, nicely timed to begin soon after sunset in eastern Australia and end just before midnight. From the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, the complete eclipse will run for 5 hours and 54 minutes. Here are the circumstances of the eclipse:  

The Full Moon will rise above the theoretical east-south-eastern horizon at 6:00 pm;     the penumbral phase will begin at 6:02 pm;     the partial phase will begin at 7:09 pm;     totality will begin at 8:16 pm;     mid-eclipse will occur at 8:59 pm;     totality will end at 9:41 pm;     the partial phase will end at 10:49 pm;     the penumbral phase will end at 11:56 pm.    



PARTIAL, MAY 1:    No part of this eclipse of the Sun will be visible from anywhere in the northern hemisphere, or in Africa, Australia, New Zealand or the south-western Pacific, as it will be centred over the south-eastern Pacific between the Antarctic Peninsula and the southern tip of South America (Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn).  The maximum phase of the eclipse will occur at 6:41 am (Australian Eastern Standard Time), but only 50% of the Sun will be covered by the Moon. The best place to view this eclipse will be the southernmost parts of Chile and Argentina.     

   This partial eclipse of the Sun will not be visible from Queensland's Sunshine Coast as it occurs when the Sun is below our horizon. It will only be seen from Europe, western Asia and the Middle East. The maximum phase of the eclipse will occur at 9 pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time), where about 85% of the Sun will be covered by the Moon. The best places for viewing will be near a line joining Murmansk, Moscow, and the Aral Sea.

Observers on Queensland's Sunshine Coast will not see a partial eclipse of the Sun until April 20, 2023. The next total solar eclipse visible from parts of Australia will occur at 12:56 pm on July 22, 2028, the eclipse track running from Wyndham through Alice Springs to Birdsville and then Sydney, before crossing the Tasman Sea to Dunedin in New Zealand's South Island.




The Planets in 2022: 


Mercury:        January 7:                    Greatest elongation from Sun in evening sky (19 12')
                                        January 14:                  Eastern stationary point
                                        January 16:                  Perihelion
                                        January 23:                  Inferior co
                                        February 4:                  Western stationary point
                                        February 17:                Greatest elongation from Sun in morning sky (26 17')                                       

                                        March 1:                     
                                        April 3:                         Superior conjunction
                                        April 14:                       Perihelion
                                        April 29:                       Greatest elongation from Sun in evening sky (20
                                        May 10:                       Eastern stationary point
                                        May 22:                       Inferior co
May 28:                       Aphelion
June 3:                        Western stationary point 
             June 17:                      Greatest elongation from Sun in morning sky (22
                                        July 11:                        Perihelion
                                        July 17:                        Superior conjunction
                                        August 24:                   Aphelion
                                        August 27:                   Greatest elongation from Sun in evening sky (27
                                        September 10:            Eastern stationary point
                                        September 23:            Inferior co
                                    October 2:                   Western stationary point
                                        October 7:                   Perihelion
                                        October 9:                   Greatest elongation from Sun in morning sky (18
                                        November 9:               Superior conjunction
                                        November 20:             Aphelion
                                        December 22:            Greatest elongation from Sun in evening sky (20
                                        December 29:            Eastern stationary point
                                        January 7, 2023:         Inferior conjunction

The best times for observing Mercury in the morning sky are:  all of February to second week of March, all of June and first week of July, second week of October. 

The best times for observing Mercury in the evening sky are:  first two weeks of January; last week of April, all of August and first two weeks of September, all of December.   

 Venus:                  January 9:                  Inferior conjunction
                                        January 23:                 Perihelion
                                        January 29:                 Western stationary point
                                        March 21:                    Greatest elongation from Sun in morning sky (46 33')
                                        May 16:                       Aphelion
                                        September 5:             Perihelion
                                        October 23:                Superior conjunction
                                        December 26:            Aphelion
From the second half of January to the end of August, Venus will dominate the eastern pre-dawn sky as a 'Morning Star'. It will become hard to find due to its proximity to the Sun during September to November, but will return to the western twilight sky in December as an 'Evening Star'. In mid-February it will appear as a little 'crescent Moon' with a phase of 27% and a diameter of 39 arcseconds. By March 21 it will appear like a small 'half-Moon' with a phase of 50%, but its diameter will have fallen to 24 arcseconds. By the beginning of July its phase will have increased to 86% (like a tiny gibbous Moon), and its angular size will have fallen further to 12 arcseconds, and by mid-August it will appear as a tiny 'Full Moon' with a phase of 95% and an angular size of 10 arcseconds. Throughout these changes its brightmess will remain more-or-less the same, around magnitude -4.5. 

Venus will pass through inferior conjunction (between the Earth and the Sun) on January 9, and will therefore move from the evening sky to the pre-dawn sky. Whereas on very rare occasions Venus will pass in front of the Sun at such times (a 'transit of Venus'), on this occasion Venus will pass 4.8 north of the Sun. Venus will become visible in the western evening sky in December 2022.

          December 2021                    January 2022                          March 2022                         October 2022                        June 2023



Mars:                     June 21:                        Perihelion                            (angular diameter =  6.9")
                                       August 27:                     Western quadrature           (angular diameter =  9.5")
                                       October 30:                   Western stationary point    (angular diameter =  14.9")
                                       December 8:                 Opposition                          (angular diameter =  17.0")

In January 2022, Mars will be on the far side of its orbit, and therefore will appear quite small, less than 5 arcseconds in diameter. Over the course of the year it will very slowly brighten and increase in angular diameter, but from September this process will accelerate rapidly, especially during November as it approaches opposition. This year's opposition will not be very favourable, as Mars will be the the northern constellation of Taurus, and less than 39 above the northern horizon at culmination.

Mars begins 2022 in the non-zodiacal constellation of Ophiuchus. Travelling east, it enters Sagittarius on January 20, then Capricornus on March 6, then Aquarius on April 12, and then Pisces on May 19. It clips a corner of Cetus between June 3 and 9 before continuing through Pisces. It enters Aries on July 9, and then Taurus on August 9. It slows down during October and reaches its stationary point on October 30, whereupon it reverses direction as it begins its retrograde loop. Heading westwards, it passes through opposition on December 8, when it will appear to us at its biggest and brightest. At opposition it will be between the Hyades star cluster and the magnitude 1.65 star Elnath. Still heading west, Mars will fade and shrink in angular size until it completes its retrograde loop on January 13, 2023 at its next stationary point. It will then reverse direction and head east once more, passing into Gemini on March 26, 2023.



Jupiter:                 March 6:                      Conjunction
June 29:                      Western quadrature
    July 29:                        Western stationary point
                                       September 27:             Opposition (Jupiter rises in the east at sunset)
                                       November 24:              Eastern stationary point
            December 22:              Eastern quadrature
                                       April 12, 2023:              Co
The giant planet begins 2022 in the constellation of Aquarius, the Water-bearer, and heads east, crossing into Pisces, the Fishes on April 14. It enters a corner of the non-zodiacal constellation Cetus, the Whale on June 25, and then slows down, reaching its stationary point on July 29. Reversing direction, it begins its retrograde loop and heads west. It re-enters Pisces on September 1 and comes to opposition on September 27. Still heading west, it reaches its next stationary point on November 24 and then resumes its eastern movement. It returns to Cetus on February 6, 2023.



Saturn:                February 5:                    Conjunction
May 16:                          Western quadrature
                                      June 5
:                           Western stationary point
                                      August 15:                     Opposition
                                      October 23:                   Eastern stationary point
                                      November 11:                Eastern quadrature
                                      February 17, 2023:        Conjunction

Saturn spends all of 2022 in the eastern end of the constellation Capricornus. It crosses into Aquarius February 13, 2023.




Uranus:               January 18:                  Eastern stationary point
                                      January 31:                  Eastern quadrature
                                      May 5:                          Conjunction
                                      August 11:                    Western quadrature
                                      August 24:                    Western stationary point
                                      November 9:                Opposition
                                      January 23, 2023:        Eastern stationary point
                                      February 4, 2023:        Eastern quadrature

Uranus will spend 2022 in the middle of the constellation of Aries, where it will remain until it enters Taurus on May 17, 2024.



Neptune:            March 13:                    Conjunction
                                       June 16:                       Western quadrature
                                       June 28:                       Western stationary point
                                       September 17:             Opposition
                                       December 4:                Eastern stationary point
                                       December 15:              Eastern quadrature
                                       March 16, 2023:           Conjunction

Neptune begins 2022 in Aquarius, near the eastern boundary with Pisces. It will cross into Pisces on May 1, 2022, and during its retrograde loop will return to Aquarius on August 18 and then re-enter Pisces on March 3, 2023, where it will remain until April 13, 2028.



Pluto:                     January 17:                 Conjunction
   April 19:                       Western quadrature
                                      April 30:                       Western stationary point
                                      July 20:                        Opposition
                                      October 9:                   Eastern stationary point
                                      October 19:                 Eastern quadrature
                                      January 19, 2023:       Conjunction

Pluto spends all of 2022 in the eastern end of Sagittarius.  It will not move out of this constellation until  March 1, 2023.




Meteor Showers:


    January 4:               Quadrantids
    February 8:              Alpha-Centaurids
    April 22:                   Lyrids
    April 24:                   Pi-Puppids
    May 4:                     Alpha Scorpids
    May 5:                     Eta Aquarids (from Comet Halley)
    June 8:                    Arietids
    June 10:                  Zeta Perseids
    June 29:                  Beta Taurids
    July 10:                   Pegasids
    July 29:                   S Delta-Aquarids
    July 30:                   Alpha-Capricornids
    August 13:              Perseids (from Comet Swift-Tuttle)
    September 1:         Alpha-Aurigids
    October 22:            Orionids (from Comet Halley)
    November 3:           S Taurids (from Comet Encke)
    November 13:         N Taurids (from Comet Encke)
    November 18:         Leonids (from Comet Tempel-Tuttle)
    December 7:          Phoenicids
    December 14:        Geminids (from Comet Phaethon)
    December 24:        Ursids

The 3.9 metre Anglo-Australian Telescope near Coonabarabran, NSW




The main Constellations visible at about 8.00 pm each month, from the horizon to the zenith:          



        East:          Hydra, Canis Minor, Canis Major, Puppis
        South:       Crux, Musca, Carina, Vela, Pavo
        West:         Aquarius, Capricornus, Pisces, Grus, Piscis Austrinus, Phoenix, Cetus, Eridanus
        North:        Aries, Perseus, Taurus, Auriga, Gemini, Orion



        East:          Leo, Crater, Corvus, Hydra, Canis Major, Puppis
        South:       Grus, Centaurus, Crux, Musca, Carina, Vela
        West:         Cetus, Eridanus, Aries
        North:        Auriga, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Orion



        East:          Virgo, Libra, Lupus, Centaurus, Corvus, Crater, Hydra, Crux, Musca, Vela
        South:       Triangulum Australe, Toucan, Carina, Puppis
        West:         Phoenix, Cetus, Eridanus, Taurus, Orion, Canis Major
        North:        Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Canis Minor



        East:          Bootes, Libra, Scorpius, Virgo, Centaurus, Lupus, Ara, Crux, Musca, Corvus
        South:       Triangulum Australe, Pavo, Carina, Vela
        West:         Eridanus, Orion, Gemini, Canis Minor, Canis Major, Puppis
        North:        Cancer, Ursa Major, Leo, Crater, Hydra



        East:          Corona Borealis, Serpens, Ophiuchus, Sagittarius, Libra, Scorpius, Ara, Lupus, Centaurus
        South:        Indus, Pavo, Triangulum Australe, Crux, Musca, Carina
        West:         Canis Major, Canis Minor, Cancer, Puppis, Hydra
        North:        Ursa Major, Leo, Coma Berenices,Bootes, Virgo, Crater, Corvus



        East:          Ophiuchus, Capricornus, Sagittarius, Scorpius
        South:        Pavo, Triangulum Australe, Ara, Lupus, Crux, Musca
        West:         Hydra, Leo, Carina, Vela, Puppis, Crater, Corvus
        North:        Coma Berenices, Bootes, Corona Borealis, Hercules, Virgo, Serpens, Libra



        East:          Aquarius, Delphinus, Grus, Capricornus, Aquila, Sagittarius, Scorpius
        South:       Carina, Musca, Crux, Ara, Triangulum Australe, Centaurus
        West:         Hydra, Crater, Corvus, Virgo, Vela, Libra
        North:        Bootes, Corona Borealis, Hercules, Lyra, Ophiuchus, Serpens



        East:          Aquarius, Phoenix, Piscis Austrinus, Grus, Sagittarius
        South:       Eridanus, Musca, Crux, Triangulum Australe
        West:         Corvus, Virgo, Bootes, Libra, Centaurus, Ara, Lupus, Scorpius
        North:        Corona Borealis, Hercules, Lyra, Cygnus, Delphinus, Aquila



        East:          Pisces, Cetus, Eridanus, Phoenix, Piscis Austrinus, Grus, Aquarius, Capricornus
        South:       Crux, Musca, Triangulum Australe, Pavo
        West:         Centaurus, Libra, Serpens, Ophiuchus, Scorpius, Lupus, Ara
        North:         Lyra, Cygnus, Pegasus, Delphinus, Aquila



        East:           Eridanus, Cetus, Aries, Piscis Austrinus
        South:        Hydrus, Centaurus, Musca, Triangulum Australe, Ara, Pavo, Grus
        West:          Lupus, Scorpius, Ophiuchus, Sagittarius, Aquila, Capricornus
        North:         Cygnus, Delphinus, Pegasus, Andromeda, Aquarius



        East:           Taurus, Eridanus, Cetus, Phoenix
        South:        Carina, Musca, Triangulum Australe, Pavo
        West:          Scorpius, Sagittarius, Aquila, Delphinus, Capricornus, Grus, Piscis Austrinus
        North:         Pegasus, Andromeda, Aries, Pisces, Cetus, Aquarius



        East:           Taurus, Orion, Canis Major, Puppis, Carina, Eridanus
        South:        Carina, Musca, Pavo
        West:          Capricornus, Aquarius, Grus, Piscis Austrinus, Phoenix
        North:         Pegasus, Andromeda, Aries, Perseus, Cetus



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