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Planetarium

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audience

Book a group planetarium star show and/or laser light show by contacting the planetarium director:

Ken Murphy
ken.murphy@smsu.edu


 


Sun and Sky Chart

Space Calendar
2020 Sky & Space Calendar Preview
January 5 Earth at perihelion, closest point to the Sun
January 8 Latest Sunrise
January 10-11 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse (Not visible in Minnesota, most of North America)
January 25 Chinese New Year—Year of the Rat
February 18 Moon & Mars very close morning sky (Moon will occult, or cover, Mars for part of N. America)
February 29 Leap Day
March 8 Spring ahead! Daylight Saving Time begins
March 14 Pi Day and Einstein’s Birthday
March 18 55th Anniversary of First Spacewalk—Russia’s Alexi Leonov
March 19 Spring begins at 10:50 p.m. CDT
March 20 Mars & Jupiter close in morning sky
March 24 Venus highest in evening sky, greatest elongation from the Sun
March 31 Mars & Saturn close in morning sky
April 2-3 Venus & Pleiades star cluster
April 7 Biggest Full Moon of 2020 (Also called Supermoon)
April 11-17 50th Anniversary of Apollo 13
April 22 50th Anniversary of Earth Day
April 24 30th Anniversary of Hubble Space Telescope
May 1 Venus sets four hours after sunset
May 21-23 Venus & Mercury close in evening sky
May 31 Venus sets 30 minutes after sunset
June 3 Venus at inferior conjunction—between Earth & Sun; 55th Anniversary of First American Spacewalk—Ed White
June 5-6 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse (Not visible in Minnesota, North America)
June 17 Earliest Sunrise
June 18 Mars & Mercury—very close in evening sky
June 20 Summer Solstice starts at 4:44 a.m. CDT
June 21 Annular Solar Eclipse: Africa, India, Asia
June 27 Latest sunset
July OSIRIS-Rex mission to Asteroid Bennu—sample collection (Returns to Earth 2023); ESA ExoMars Mission 2020 Launch (Rover lands February 2021); United Arab Emirates Mars Mission (Hope) Launch (Orbiter Science to start May 2021)
July 4 Earth at aphelion, the farthest point from the Sun
July 4-5 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse (Not visible in Minnesota, North America)
July 13 Jupiter at opposition, opposite the Sun, up all night
July 17 NASA Mars 2020 Rover Launch (Lands February 18, 2021)
July 20 Saturn at opposition
July 30 410 years ago, Astronomer Galileo Galilei observes Saturn's Rings
August 11-13 Perseid meteor shower peaks
August 13 Venus highest in morning sky, greatest elongation from the Sun
September 11 Neptune at opposition
September 22 Fall arrives with the autumnal equinox at 2:50 a.m. CDT
October 6 Mars closest to Earth (magnitude of -2.6, brighter than Jupiter, 3 times brighter than Sirius)
October 13 Mars at opposition
October 30 Uranus at opposition
November 2 20th Anniversary of International Space Station (ISS) continuously occupied.
November 3 Fall back! Daylight Savings Time ends
November 30 Penumbral Eclipse of Moon—barely noticeable—1:32 a.m. to 5:53 a.m. CST.
December Hayabusa 2—Japanese asteroid sample returns to Earth; Launch of China’s Chang’e 5, Lunar Sample Return Mission
December 2 25th Anniversary Launch of SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) (still working)
December 7 Earliest Sunset
December 12-14 Geminid meteor shower peaks
December 14 Total Solar Eclipse—Chile & Argentina
December 21 Jupiter & Saturn Great Conjunction--evening sky (their closest approach since 1623!); Winter Solstice starts at 4:02 a.m. CST

Last Modified: 1/28/20 9:06 AM