No matter how clued up you are about the night sky, there are bound to be some celestial events occurring this year that you are unaware of. Every astronomer wants a great reason to dig out their telescopes and spend the night gazing at the sky, waiting for beautiful scenes to unfold in front of them. But which are the best days this year to get your astronomical telescopes out and enjoy what the night sky has to offer?
Ete Aquardis Meteor Shower
May 6th brings a great night to spend time looking through your telescopes seeing if you can spot this light shower. The best days should be around the 5th and 6th, however dark skies will aid viewing at any point between 4th and 7th. For the best viewings, head away from the city lights and look to the east after midnight.
Total Lunar Eclipse
Another great date for all those with astronomical telescopes is June 15th, bringing around a total lunar eclipse visible from South America, Africa, Asia and Europe.
Perseids Meteor Shower
On August 12th one of the best meteor showers to obverse will grace our skies, known to produce almost 60 meteors per hour at its peak. The best place to catch this spectacular showing is after midnight, away from city lights and to the north.
Uranus at Opposition
On September 25th the planet will be at its closest to Earth and its face will be illuminated by the sun. However, rather powerful telescopes will be needed to appreciate this due to its distance. As this small snapshot of the 2011 celestial events shows, there are many perfect nights this year to set up your equipment, go outside and enjoy the sights the night time sky has to offer. Just make sure you wrap up warm.