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Look Up! Summer 2022 Astronomy Sights



Tucked between Des Moines and Omaha, this region of the state has some of the darkest skies in Iowa. Whiterock’s dark skies are thanks to its distance from large cities and local dark-sky friendly practices.

Photo by: Lynn Reihman

This summer, there will several opportunities to view celestial events such as full moons, meteor showers, and planets in our dark skies. Come stay the night in our Star Field Campground to not miss these astronomical sights!


 



June

  • June 14: Full Moon/Supermoon. The first of three supermoons in 2022. The moon will be near its closest approach to earth and look larger and brighter.

  • June 16: Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation. TIP: Best time to view mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for mercury low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.

  • June 21: June Solstice. First day of summer in the northern hemisphere and the longest day of the year. The sun reaches its northmost position in the sky, directly over the Tropic of Cancer.

  • June 29: New Moon. TIP: Best time to view the stars, the moon will not be visible.


July

  • July 13: Full Moon/Supermoon. The second of three supermoons in 2022. Moon will be near its closest approach to earth and look larger and brighter.

  • July 28: New Moon. TIP: Best time to view the stars, the moon will not be visible.

  • July 28 – 29: Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower. Shower that produces up to 20 meteors per an hour at its peak. It runs from July 12 – August 23 but will peak the night of July 28th. The new moon will make the shower easier to view.



August


  • August 12: Full Moon/Supermoon. The third of the three supermoons in 2022. Moon will be near its closest approach to earth and look larger and brighter.

  • August 12 – 13: Perseids Meteor Shower. One of the best meteor showers, producing up to 60 meteors at its peak. Shower runs from July 17 to August 24 and peaks on the night of August 12. The full moon may block most of the meteors, except the brightest.

  • August 14: Saturn at Opposition. Saturn will be at its closest approach to the earth and illuminated by the sun. It will be brighter than usual and visible all night long. A telescope will be needed to see Saturn’s rings and a few of its moons.

  • August 27: New Moon. TIP: Best time to view the stars, the moon will not be visible.

  • August 27: Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation. TIP: Best time to view mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for Mercury in the low western sky just after sunset.

  • August 27: Iowa Star Part Public Night. 7:30 pm at the Star Field Campground. Learn more and register at www.whiterockconservancy.org/event-calendar.


Sources: www.timeanddate.com & www.seasky.org

Telescope at Star Party. Photo by: Tolif Hunt





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