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Wednesday, January 11, 2023


Coming Events: A Year of Southern Astronomy for 2023

Occultation of the Pleiades on 31 October 2023 at 01:24 ACDST, as seen from Adelaide shortly before it covers Alcyone, eta Tauri, the brightest star in Pleiades cluster (the inset show the binocular view of this). Most of Australia will enjoy similar views at the roughly equivalent local times (adjust for daylight savings). Click to embiggen.

The table below shows significant astronomical events that can be seen with the unaided eye or minimal equipment in 2023 in Australia (and to some degree elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, ocultations and eclipses are very region specific). 

This year we get a Partial Lunar eclipse best visible from western Australia. A Total Solar eclipse is visible from the tip of Western Australia and everywhere else sees a partial eclipse (best from WA and central north). There are good oppositions of Jupiter and Saturn. We also get an occultation of the Pleiades and a binocular comet.

As well we have some fantastic parings and lineups and good meteor showers.

Close pairings of the Moon and bright planets are given special attention as not only is the Moon a ready guide to locating the planets if you are not familiar with them, these massings are rather beautiful. 

Special events are bolded.

Date Event
3 January 2023 Moon between Mars and Pleiades 
5 January 2023 Earth at Perihelion
21 January 2023 Crescent Moon near Mercury in morning twilight.
23 January 2023 Saturn, Venus and Crescent Moon close in the evening twilight 
26 January 2023 Crescent Moon close to Jupiter 
4 February 2023 Comet C/2022 E3 visible above northern horizon (binocular)
11-13 February 2023 Comet C/2033 E3 comes close to Mars the enters the Hyades (binocular)
19 February 2023 Crescent Moon and Mercury close in the morning twilight 
22 February 2023Crescent Moon near Venus in evening twilight
23 February 2023 Crescent Moon close to Jupiter.
28 February 2023 Waning Moon close to Mars
26-30 February 2023 Venus and Jupiter come close together ahead of a spectacular conjunction in March 
2 March 2023  Venus and Jupiter in a spectacular close approach (0.5 degrees) in evening twilight
3 March 2023 Mercury very close (1 degrees) to Saturn deep in morning twilight
20 March 2023Crescent Moon and Saturn close in early morning twilight
21 March 2023Earth at Equinox
24 March 2023 Crescent Moon and Venus close in evening twilight
28 March 2023Waning Moon close to Mars.
12 April 2023 Venus near the Pleiades.
16 April 2023 Saturn and crescent Moon close in morning sky.
20April 2023 Total Solar Eclipse; Exmouth WA (partial in the rest of Australia)
23April 2023
Crescent Moon close to Venus in evening sky
26 April 2023Waxing Moon close to Mars in evening sky
5/6 May 2023
Penumbral eclipse of the Moon 
6-7 May 2023 Eta Aquariid meteor shower
14 May 2023
Waning Moon close to Saturn in the morning sky
18 May 2023Mercury, Jupiter and crescent Moon form a triangle in morning twilight
23 May 2023 Crescent Moon below Venus in the evening sky
24-25 May 2023 Mars with waxing Moon nearby
3 June 2023 Mars in heart of Beehive cluster (M44), Venus forms line with Castor and Pollux
10 June 2023 Saturn near waning Moon in morning sky
14 June 2023 Crescent Moon near Jupiter in morning sky, Venus near Beehive cluster in evening sky
17 June 2023 Thin Crescent Moon, Mercury and red star Aldebaran form a line low in the morning twilight
22 June 2023 Earth at solstice 
22 June 2023 Crescent  Moon forms triangle with Mars and Venus in evening sky
7 July 2023 Earth at aphelion, waning Moon near Saturn in the morning sky.
8 July 2023 Venus at greatest brilliance 
10 July 2023Venus, Mars and the bright star Regulus form a triangle in the evening twilight
12 July 2023
Crescent Moon close to Jupiter in the morning sky
19 July 2023
Thin Crescent Moon close to Mercury low in evening twilight
20 July 2023 Crescent Moon, Venus and bright star Regulus for a triangle in the evening twilight
21 July 2023 Mars near crescent Moon in the morning twilight
26 July 2023 Venus, Mercury and Regulus form a triangle
30 July 2023 Mercury Very close (0.5 degrees) to Regulus, Venus close by
29-30 July 2023
Southern Delta Aquarids meteor shower
2 August 2023 Perigee Full Moon (“super” Moon)
3 August 2023 Saturn close (2 degrees) to Moon in evening sky
8-9 August 2023 Jupiter near waning Moon
18 August 2023 Thin crescent Moon forms triangle with Mercury and Mars in evening twilight 
19 August 2023 Thin crescent Moon forms line with Mercury and Mars in evening twilight 
27 August 2023 Saturn at opposition 
30 August 2023 Saturn  near waxing Moon in evening
31 August 2023 Perigee Full Moon (“Super” Moon) also Blue Moon
4 September 2023 Jupiter close to waning Moon in evening sky
12 September 2023 Thin crescent Moon close to Venus in dawn sky
16-17 September 2023 Crescent Moon near Mars
23 September 2023 Earth at Equinox
27 September 2023 Saturn close to the waxing Moon
1-2 October 2023 Jupiter  and waning Moon near in evening sky
11 October 2023 Venus and crescent Moon close in morning sky
24 October 2023 Saturn and the waxing Moon close in evening sky
21-22 October 2023 Orionid meteor shower
28 October 2023 Twilight partial eclipse of the Moon (best from WA)
29 October 2023
Jupiter and the Full Moon close in evening sky
30-31 October 2023
Ocultation of the Pleiades (before  midnight 30th to early morning 31st)

3 November 2023 Opposition of Jupiter 
10 November 2023Crescent Moon near Venus in morning sky
14 November 2023 Opposition of Uranus
18 November 2023 Leonid Meteor Shower
20 November 2023Waxing Moon near Saturn in the evening sky
25 November 2023 Waxing Moon near Jupiter in Evening sky
29 November 2023Occultation of bright star Beta Tauri in morning sky
10 December 2023 Venus and crescent Moon close
14 December 2023 Geminid Meteor shower in the morning
14 December 2023 Mercury near thin crescent Moon low in the twilight
17-18 December 2023
Waxing Moon near Saturn in the evening
22 December 2023Earth is at Solstice
22 December 2023
Jupiter near waxing Moon in the evening
23 December 2023
Asteroid Vesta at opposition
31 December 2023Venus, Mercury and Mars form a triangle low the twilight morning sky

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Very useful, thanks!
Thanks so much Ian for putting together that astronomical calendar year after year, my kids and I are very grateful for your effort and wish you all the best for 2023
No worries, hope you have a great 2023 as well!
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