Top 8 Astronomical Holidays That Will Keep People Looking Towards The Skies
Let me ask everyone reading today a quick question. Have any of you ever taken the opportunity to look up at the sky? I mean really look at it. I’m willing to bet that most people probably don’t do that very often. The average person probably only looks up at the sky to see storm clouds moving in or perhaps catch sight of a rainbow or a plane.
understandable considering that most of us are too involved with our own Earth-bound lives to look toward the heavens. After all, we all live busy lives and have to deal with work, family, and all of the other responsibilities that fill our calendars.
I do think that more people should take the opportunity to at least consider the sky every once in a while. I mean, there’s a lot of cool stuff going on up there, if only we’d take the opportunity to look at it.
That’s why I felt like it was important to research some of the astronomical holidays that people can enjoy. Now, I can’t make people look upward more often, but I can recommend holidays that will hopefully inspire them to do so. With that said, allow us to introduce the Top 8 Astronomical Holidays That Will Keep People Looking Towards The Skies.
National Weather Observers Day (May 4th)
We thought long and hard about which holidays to begin our discussion today, and we decided that National Weather Observers Day was probably the best place to start. Everybody on the planet has to deal with the weather in some capacity, so it’s important for all of us to keep an eye on what’s happening. And since the sky can reveal a lot of information about incoming weather, perhaps we all should be spending some more time looking at it.
We’ll give everyone an example. Large puffy cumulus clouds and darkening clouds and skies can all be signs that a storm is pushing in. See? Now, we’ve all moved a little bit closer to being amateur meteorologists and all that it requires is that people take a few moments to pay attention to what’s happening. Doing so might save some of us from leaving our umbrellas at home on a day when we’re going to need them the most.
National Space Day (First Friday In May)
This is a holiday that’s been around since the 1990s as a day to inspire students to become interested in space and aerospace jobs. However, we also think that it’s a good day for people to spend more time watching the stars. A small telescope can be used to peruse the skies, or people can attend one of the Science Centers around the world on this day to see more elaborate night sky displays. All of these are good ways to enjoy the night sky more.
Astronomy Day (Multiple Dates)
This is a celebration holiday that falls during the spring and during the fall. The springtime celebration takes place on the Saturday closest to the first quarter moon, and during the fall celebration, also falls on the Saturday closest to the quarter moon. This places this holiday sometime during April or May in the Spring, and October or November during the fall months. Regardless of when this day is observed, it’s a great day for people to learn more about astronomy and perhaps learn how to use a telescope from their homes.
International Asteroid Day (June 30th)
According to NASA, the odds of an asteroid slamming into the Earth is about 1 in 300,000 — which means that you probably have a better chance of matching 5 numbers in the Illinois Lottery than you do of an asteroid hitting the planet. Still, it’s something to think about, so people might want to take the chance to observe this holiday and pay attention to any asteroids that may (or may not) be zooming past the planet at this moment.
National Meteor Watch Day (June 30th)
Something a little more common than an asteroid hitting the planet is a meteor hitting the planet. Every single day of the year, approximately 25 million meteoroids, micrometeoroids, and other types of space debris hit the Earth. That’s over 15,000 tons of material that enter our planet’s atmosphere every year. Of course, most of these meteors burn up in the atmosphere, which gives us a great light show to enjoy. So, we encourage everyone to observe this holiday and enjoy any meteors that might be available to watch. Oh, by the way, approximately 17-20 meteors do make it through our atmosphere and end up hitting Earth every single day.
National Moon Day (July 20th)
The moon has been with us for over 4.5 billion years and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be going anywhere anytime soon. So perhaps it’s a good time to become more familiar with it on National Moon Day. Many of the moon’s features can be observed by the naked eye, and with the aid of a telescope, even more of its secrets can be unlocked. It’s also a good day to share with your significant other. After all, what can be more romantic than spending a moonlit night with one another?
Pluto Demoted Day (August 24th)
Okay, you won’t be able to look at Pluto using only your naked eye. You won’t even be able to see it with the average home telescope. Pluto is over 3.21 billion miles away from us and only shines at a magnitude of 14.4. All that means is that you’re going to need a large-aperture telescope to see it. That means you might want to get your hands on a professional 8-foot telescope, or book time at one of the observatories located around the world. Pluto is no longer considered a planet, but it’s still worth checking out.
Red Planet Day (November 28th)
The last holiday we want to talk about during this post is Red Planet Day. This is a great day for people to get familiar with the planet Mars. Named after the Roman God of War of the same name, this planet appears red. That’s because it has a large amount of iron oxide locked in its rocks and soil. This is a planet that’s eventually going to be colonized by humanity, so perhaps we should take the time to check it out every once in a while.