This year will present some great opportunities for viewing meteor showers, eclipses, planets, and much more.
Find below month-by-month highlights for the best astronomical events to view and photograph in 2022.
January 2022 Astronomical Events
Lunar Eclipse – 1 January 2022
The moon will turn blood red with a lunar eclipse on January 1st. It will be visible for most of North America and Europe.
Quadrantid meteor shower – 3-4 January 2022
The new year will start with the annual Quadrantid meteor shower.
It will peak on the night of 3 January and morning of the 4th, with hundreds of meteors per hour in the night sky. The Quadrantid meteor showers are typified by long, bright “shooting stars”.
You’ll only really get the best of this though if you have a cloudless sky and are away from the light pollution of towns and cities. You can just use your naked eyes to view or some low magnification astronomy binoculars that give you a wide field of view but brighten the meteors in the night sky.
Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon- 4 January 2022
View these four planets and the moon together in the night sky.
Mercury visible in sky – 7 January 2022
On this day, Mercury can be seen with the naked eye or astronomy binoculars. Both Saturn and Jupiter will also be visible.
Smallest Full Moon of the year – 17 January 2022
The full moon this night is the most distant of 2022, and therefore it appears the smallest.
Waning Crescent Moon with Mars, Mercury and Venus – 29 January 2022
Find Mercury, Venus, and Mars together with a waning crescent Moon in the morning sky.
February 2022 Astronomical Events
Mercury closest to Sun in a century – 16 February 2022
At this time, Mercury will reach its closest point to the sun in this century and it will be at perihelion – the time when it is nearest the earth. It will be bright and visible, although low in the sky.
Zodiacal Light Season Begins in the Evening – 18 February 2022
Zodiacal light is a faint glow rising out of the southwest sky which will be visible when conditions are clear and there is no moon.
View Mars, Venus, Mercury & Saturn with the Moon – 27 February 2022
Find these four planets together with a waning crescent moon.
March 2022 Astronomical Events
Mars rises – 12 March 2022
From 12 March until 22 September, Mars will be visible in the sky with the naked eye, or better with binoculars or a telescope.
Venus, Mars, Saturn and the Moon together – 27 March 2022
See these three planets together with a crescent moon.
April 2022 Astronomical Events
Mars and Saturn sit close – 5 April 2022
The two planets will appear next to each other with similar brightness.
The Lyrid meteor shower – 16-25 April 2022
The Lyrids will be visible over this period and should display around 17 meteors per hour.
Venus and Jupiter get closer – 27-30 April 2022
The two planets get closer and head to the 1 May conjunction.
Mercury and the Pleiades – 29 April 2022
Mercury appears right next to the Pleiades star cluster in the night sky.
May 2022 Astronomical Events
Venus and Jupiter in conjunction – 1 May 2022
The two planets have gradually got close over the previous nights and the closest point will be this night.
Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower Peak – 6-7 May 2022
The Eta Aquarid meteor shower is active from 9 April-28 May, peaking around 6 May. It is expected to produce around 30 meteors per hour.
The bonus is that this night will be moonless and so the dark skies should help spotting them.
Total Eclipse of the Moon – 16 May 2022
On 16 May 2022, a total lunar eclipse will be visible from most of North America, parts of Europe and Africa as well as South America. This is the first of two total lunar eclipses in 2022.
Known as a ‘blood moon’, a total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth is perfectly aligned between the Sun and the Moon and the light that reaches the moon’s surface is filtered through Earth’s atmosphere. making the moon appear red.
Moon with Venus, plus Mars and Jupiter Close – 27 May 2022
Mars and Jupiter are in close conjunction, with Venus and the moon joining the party.
June 2022 Astronomical Events
Prime Milky Way Season begins – 1 June – September 2022
In early June with no Moon to interfere, and monthly for the next four months, the Milky Way core is ideally placed to the south through the night for nightscapes.
Noctilucent Cloud Season Begins – 1 June 2022 onwards
Noctilucent clouds are high-altitude electric-blue clouds illuminated by the sun.
Super Full Moon 1 – 14 June 2022
The June supermoon occurs on the night of June 14-15, when it also reaches one of its closest approaches to Earth.
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in a row – 24 June 2022
All five naked-eye planets — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — can be seen this night in a row. As a bonus, they will be in the correct order from the Sun.
Uranus and the Crescent Moon – 24-25 June 2022
On June 24 and 25 the crescent moon will glide past Uranus.
Venus and the crescent Moon in conjunction – 26 June 2022
Just before sunrise on 26 June super-bright Venus will appear next to a beautiful, slim crescent moon.
July 2022 Astronomical Events
Super Full Moon 2 – 13 July 2022
When the Moon is at its closest to Earth and it’s at a Full Moon or New Moon phase, we call it a supermoon. July’s Super Moon is ever so slightly closer than the June Super Moon.
Moon and Venus – 26 July 2022
The waning crescent moon will pass close above a bright Venus.
August 2022 Astronomical Events
Mars and Uranus together – 1 August 2022
Mars will pass close enough to Uranus to be viewed together in a telescope.
Perseid Meteor Shower peaks – 12-13 August 2022
The annual and popular Perseid meteor shower peaks on this night, although it coincides with a full moon, which will lighten the skies and make it harder to spot the meteors.
Saturn at Opposition – 14-15 August 2022
Saturn is at its closest and brightest this year on this night as it will be fully illuminated by the Sun.
Moon Above Venus – 25 August 2022
A thin Moon and Venus will rise together at dawn on August 25.
Elongation of Mercury – 27 August 2022
This is the time when Mercury is at its greatest distance from the sun and so is at its easiest to view.
September 2022 Astronomical Events
Harvest Moon – 10 September 2022
The closest full moon to the equinox each year is known as the Harvest Moon.
Neptune at Opposition – 16 September 2022
Neptune emerges brightly in the sky as a target to view or image.
Zodiacal Light Season Begins – 23 September 2022
Zodiacal light is characterized by a faint glow of light rising from the east in the morning.
Jupiter at Opposition, 26-27 September 2022
Jupiter reaches its closest to the Earth and will shine brightest this year on this night.
October 2022 Astronomical Events
Moon Passes in Front of Uranus – 11 October 2022
The moon will occult Uranus for about an hour in the middle of the night and watching it disappear then reappear the other side would make for a great show with a telescope.
Orionid meteor shower peaks – 21 October 2022
The Perseids and Geminids meteor showers both coincide with bright moons this year which will limit their displays, but the Orionids will occur in dark skies and so may be the best in 2022. There should be about 10-15 meteors an hour.
Partial solar eclipse – 25 October 2022
The extent of the sun that will be blocked will vary, but this partial solar eclipse will be visible to different degrees in Europe, North Eastern Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia.
November 2022 Astronomical Events
Total lunar eclipse – 8 November 2022
The second total lunar eclipse in 2022 will occur on November 8, with North and South America having good views. It will last 84 minutes and will be the last chance to view or photograph a blood moon until 2025
Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks – 17 November 2022
Although less impressive than other meteor shows, a dark moon should enable some good shooting star watching on this night.
December 2022 Astronomical Events
Mars at its closest – 1 December 2022
Mars reaches its closest point to Earth this night – 81 million km away – and it will not get this close again until the early 2030s.
Full Moon Occulting Mars at Opposition – 8 December 2022
This is the night Mars is at its brightest as it is at opposition from the Sun. In addition, the full moon will pass in front of the planet in a rare event.
With a telescope you should be able to see the edge of the Moon cover Mars for just about 30 seconds.
Geminid meteor shower – 13-14 December 2022
The most prolific meteor shower of the year peaks on this night with up to 120 meteors an hour.
Mercury and Venus in Conjunction – 28 December 2022
This evening Mercury will pass close above Venus.
FAQs: Celestial Events 2022
When is Milky Way season?
For those in the Northern Hemisphere the Milky Way from April to July. In the Southern Hemisphere the window is longer – from February to October.
See how to photograph the Milky Way for more on this.
Will there be an eclipse in 2022?
There will be two lunar eclipses in 2022 – 16 May and 8 November.
There will also be a partial solar eclipse on 25 October 2022.
See above for more details on where these will be visible.
When is Aurorae season?
The best Aurora displays in 2022 are likely to be in March and September.
Will there be any visible comets in 2022?
Comet PanSTARRS may become viewable on 30 April but it is TBC as it may break up and fizzle out before then.
What Celestial Events are you looking forward to in 2022?
As you can see, there is much to look forward to viewing and photographing in the night sky in 2022.
A further article that you may be interested in is What’s in the Sky Tonight from My Location?, which gives you the apps and software to quickly know what you might be able to find in the night sky for you on any night.
For monthly previews of what will be upcoming in the night sky, then we recommend watching the excellent ‘What’s in the Night Sky?’ video series on YouTube from astrophotographer Alyn Wallace: