This year promises to be spectacular for stargazing in Western Australia. The best stargazing in 2022 is only the switch of a light bulb away!
We’ve done all the research, checked through this year’s astronomy almanac, considered rising and setting times, when the Moon is up and have come up with our top 12 tips to the best stargazing in 2022.
If you can escape bright city lights and visit country WA, you’ll find you can see so many more stars in the night sky. They are so much brighter and the darkness will give you a much better stargazing experience. Let’s turn out the lights and check out the best stargazing in 2022!
January: Go Galaxy Hunting
It’s a great time of the year to see two galaxies in the southern night sky and you don’t even need binoculars or a telescope! The Magellanic Clouds can be seen with the naked eye. All you need is the darkest night sky you can find, your favourite picnic rug or chair and a great bunch of friends or family to enjoy the evening with. When’s the best time to see the Magellanic Clouds?
February: Jupiter and the Moon
Jupiter can be seen easily without the assistance of a telescope or binoculars. On the 3rd February, Jupiter makes a close approach to the Moon and makes it super easy to find. Grab your camera, binoculars or telescope!
March: Planet Parade!
Early risers are in for a treat in March, with 5 naked eye planets observable in the morning sky during the first week. Where and when can I see the parade?
April: Our Famous Southern Cross
This is Western Australia’s most iconic constellation. It’s on the flag and in our hearts! Did you know it can only be seen from the Southern Hemisphere? Starting this month, you can track it over time as it graces the southern skies. How do you find the Southern Cross?
May: Catch a Falling Star!
This year, the eta-Aquarids Meteor Shower has perfect conditions. The Moon is setting early in the evening meaning that the sky will be very dark at midnight, prime meteor shower viewing time! Grab some comfy seats, some friends and some refreshments, and keep an eye to the sky. The eta-Aquarids Meteor Shower holds potential…
June: Milky Way Galaxy
Milky Way Season has just begun! If you’ve never seen the Milky Way on a moonless night in country WA, June and the months either side are the perfect time to experience it. Sometimes this thick band of stars look so close, you could almost reach out and touch them. The Milky Way is simply stunning…
July: Meteors in the Sky
Did you miss the eta-Aquarids? The Southern delta-Aquarids Meteor Shower occurs at a good time to try and spot some meteors (or “shooting stars”). There’s no moonlight at the time of the meteor shower’s peak which makes it easier to see more meteors as they burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. How many can you count?
August: Sagittarius and a Teapot!
Most of us know about the saucepan in the sky. That’s part of the constellation of Orion. Did you know there’s also the shape of teapot in the sky? See if you can find the teapot in Sagittarius…
September: Jupiter at Opposition
As the planets move around the Solar System, they sometimes align with the Earth! This year the Sun, the Earth and Jupiter will form a straight line on 26th September, an event known as opposition. Opposition makes Jupiter the brightest and largest it will be all year. Find out where to look for Jupiter.
October: The Moon, Saturn and Jupiter!
If you’ve never seen Saturn, now is a great time to spot the giant ringed planet. The rising full Moon in the east will have bright Jupiter above it and Saturn above that! Find out where to see the ringed planet.
Andromeda is in our galactic neighbourhood of local galaxies. It’s 2.5 million light years away and they say it is the most distant object visible to the human eye! Head out to an Astrotourism Town on a moonless weekend and try your luck. Will you be able to see Andromeda?
December: Christmas Eve Stargazing
Look out for some of summer’s best constellations on Christmas Eve, including the Seven Sisters and Orion the Hunter. These favourites will be joined by three planets: Saturn, Jupiter and Mars! Find out where to look on Christmas Eve.
There you have it! The top 12 tips to the best stargazing in 2022.
Now all you need to do is decide where to go!