2021 astronomy calendar: the 10 best events to watch

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Some of 2021's early meteor showers will be washed out by the Full Moon, but things pick up in April.

Here are the astronomical events you shouldn't miss in 2021.
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1. Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower (April 19–May 28)

Peaking on May 6, this shower should produce a good show after midnight from May 6 to May 10, especially in the Southern Hemisphere.

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2. Total Lunar Eclipse (May 26)

The first total lunar eclipse since 2019 will look best from eastern Asia, Japan, Australia, and western North America.

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3. Annular Solar Eclipse (June 10)

The Sun will appear as a ring of light around the Moon in parts of Russia and Canada, with a less dramatic show from the northeastern United States and Europe.

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4. Saturn at Opposition (August 2)

Saturn will be its closest to Earth all year while facing the Sun, making this the best time to photograph or view it through a telescope.

5. Perseids Meteor Shower (July 17–August 24)

A waxing crescent moon will leave the sky mostly dark for this shower, which peaks on August 12–13 and produces bright, fast meteors.

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6. Jupiter at Opposition (August 19)

Jupiter's cloud bands will be visible through a telescope, and its four moons can be seen with binoculars at its closest point to Earth.

7. Draconids Meteor Shower (October 6–10)

The Draconids will appear with a New Moon this year, leaving the sky dark for its peak on October 7.

8. Taurids Meteor Shower (September 7–December 10)

A New Moon will make the Taurids shower easier than usual to see this year during its peak on November 4.

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9. Partial Lunar Eclipse (November 19)

Though not as dramatic as May’s total eclipse, this event will be easier to catch throughout Japan, North America, Central America, and western South America.

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10. Geminids Meteor Shower (December 4–17)

Despite a nearly Full Moon, this should be the best meteor shower of the year. The Geminids can be seen from early evening and peak on December 14.

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