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From New Moon To Meteor Showers; Major Celestial Events To Occur In 1st Quarter Of 2022

The major celestial events that are to occur in the first week of January itself also include Mercury reaching its highest point above the horizon.

New Moon

Images: Unsplash

The last quarter of 2021 was full of awe-inspiring celestial events that ranged from four planets aligning in the sky to a handful of meteor showers. Stargazers need not worry as the year 2022 is also bringing its fair share of must-watch events which start as soon as the first week of January. So without further ado, let us take a look at the major celestial events to occur in the first quarter of the new year, so that you can better prepare for them. 

New Moon (January 2)

Space enthusiasts are advised to be ready right for some stargazing from as early as January 2, when the world will witness a New Moon. It is one of those times of the year when the Moon comes on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and is not visible in the night sky. Although you cannot spot the Moon, it will be the most convenient day to observe galaxies, star clusters and even your favourite planets in our solar system as there will be no Moonlight. 

Quadrantids Meteor Shower (January 3, 4)

Right after the New Moon phase ends, you will be treated with a major meteor shower on the night of January 3 and the morning of January 4. According to SeaSky, the Quadrantids were first discovered in 2003 when astronomers observed dust grains left behind by now extinct comet 2003 EH1. The event, which generally occurs between January 1 and 5, will be an above-average one and you might be treated with up to 40 meteors per hour. This day would be perfect for spotting the meteor shower as the Moon will be in its crescent phase and will set before the sky gets dark. 

Spot Mercury at its highest point (January 7)

The major celestial events that are to occur in the first week of January itself also include Mercury reaching its highest point above the horizon. According to SeaSky, Mercury will reach the greatest eastern elongation of 19.2 degrees from the Sun and will appear in the Western sky right after the sunset.  

Full Moon (February 16)

February 16 will be the day when the world will witness the first full Moon of 2022. Located on the opposite side of the Earth and the Sun, the Moon will be at its brightest offering a view to marvel. Interestingly, the Moon at this time of the year was named Snow Moon by the Native Americans as the rate of snowfall used to be heavy in mid-February.

Mercury at the highest point again (February 16)

On the same day, Mercury will be at its highest point above the horizon again but this time you will have to look east. You would find the planet located above the horizon in the morning sky just before the sun rises. 

Full Moon (March 18)

Be ready for the second full Moon of the year as the Earth's nearest neighbour will again park itself opposite the sun. The native Americans used to call this Moon 'Worm Moon' as the earthworms would reappear in mid-March owing to the softening of the soil.

March Equinox (March 20)

On this day, you will experience equal hours of night and day and the sun would appear directly above the equator. Besides, the Northern Hemisphere would witness its first day of Spring on March 20 whereas it would be the first day of fall in the Southern Hemisphere.

Images: Unsplash

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