2018 Sky and Space Calendar

January 2:         Earth at perihelion, the closest point to the Sun

January 6:         Mars & Jupiter very close in the morning sky

January 31:       Lunar Eclipse, visible—early morning! Also a Super, Blue, Blood Moon!

January 31:        60th Anniversary of Explorer 1; first successful American satellite

January to March:    Launch of India’s Chandrayaan-2; Moon Orbiter & Rover

February 15:     Partial Solar Eclipse; South America, Antarctica

February 16:     Chinese New Year—Year of the Dog

March 3-4:        Venus & Mercury very close in evening sky; very low

March 11:          Spring ahead!  Daylight Saving Time begins

March 14:         Pi Day and Einstein’s Birthday

March 20:         Spring begins at 11:15 a.m. CDT

March 31:         Blue Moon #2 for 2018—2nd full Moon in same month

Spring:             Launch of NASA’s TESS--Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

April 2:             Saturn & Mars very close in morning sky     

April 5:             45th Anniversary of Pioneer 11 Launch; second spacecraft to reach Jupiter and first to fly by Saturn   

May 5:              Launch of NASA’s Mars Lander InSight--Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy & Heat Transport

May 8:             Jupiter’s at opposition, opposite the Sun, up all night    

June 21:           Summer Solstice starts at 5:07 a.m. CDT

June 26:           Saturn at opposition, opposite the Sun, up all night

June/July:         Hayabusa 2 (Japan) reaches Asteroid Ryugu; sample returns December 2020

July 6:               Earth at aphelion, the farthest point from the Sun

July 12:             Pluto at opposition

July 13:             Partial Solar Eclipse; SE Australia, part of Antarctica

July 26:             Mars at opposition, opposite the Sun, up all night

July 27/28:        Lunar Eclipse—Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia

July 31:             Launch of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe—first mission to "touch" the Sun

August 11:         Partial Solar Eclipse; NE Europe, NW Asia, N Canada, Arctic

August 13:         Perseid meteor shower peaks

September 7:     Neptune at opposition

September 22:    Fall arrives with the autumnal equinox at 8:54 a.m. CDT

October 1:          NASA’s OSIRIS-REx surveys Asteroid Bennu; lands July 2020, returns September 2023

October 1:          60th Anniversary of founding of NASA—National Aeronautics and Space Administration

October 1:          Launch of Mercury orbiter BepiColombo (European Space Agency); arrives 2024

October 23:        Uranus at opposition

October 26:        Venus at inferior conjunction, between Earth and Sun

October 29:        Venus & Saturn are close together in the evening sky

November 4:      Fall back! Daylight Saving Time ends

November 26:    Landing of Mars Lander InSight

December 14:    Geminid meteor shower peaks

December 21:    Winter Solstice starts at 4:23 p.m. CST

December 21:    Jupiter & Mercury close together in morning sky

December 21-27:    50th Anniversary of Apollo 8; first manned spacecraft to leave Earth orbit     

January 1, 2019:    New Horizons flies by Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69; flew by Pluto July 2015