2022 Stargazing Guide and Astronomical Calendar

Planet sightings, supermoons, eclipses, and meteor showers—stargazing is arguably one of the best parts of spending time outside. This is especially true after a long day of exploring, when you can take the time to lay out for an evening under the dark night sky. Whether you’re big into astrophotography or just like to take the time to feel small in our big universe, use this stargazing calendar and our dark skies map to plan your next night under the stars.

Emoji Key
🌑: New moon | 🌕: Full moon | ☄️: Meteor shower | 🪐: Planet sighting | 🔴 : Solar or lunar eclipse

January

🌑 Sun. January 2 | New Moon, Supermoon: This date brings the first supermoon of the year, which means it will appear slightly larger in the sky. The first phase of the lunar calendar, new moons occur when the sun and moon are aligned. The moon is therefore invisible from Earth, creating the darkest sky of the month—perfect for camping trips out to observe stars and see the Milky Way. Read our guide to stargazing and find Hipcamps under dark skies.

  • Northern Hemisphere constellations to see: Orion, Taurus and Pleiades, Lepus
  • Southern Hemisphere constellations to see: Dorado, Pictor, Reticulum

☄️ Mon. & Tues. January 3–4 | Quadrantid Meteor Shower: This above-average meteor shower can showcase up to 120 meteors per hour at its peak. This year, the Quadrantids peak on the night of the third, with the best viewing after midnight. Stargazers should camp out in a dark spot to avoid light pollution and be patient!

🪐 Fri. January 7 | Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation: This is the best time to get a good look at Mercury all year! You should be able to see it low in the sky right after the sun goes down.

🌕 Mon. January 17 | Full Moon (aka the Wolf Moon): Full moons occur when Earth is located between the sun and moon, making the moon appear fully illuminated from Earth. It might be more difficult to see constellations with a bright full moon, but it does make for great moonlit hikes and family camping trips.

🌑 Fri. January 31 | New Moon: The first phase of the lunar calendar, new moons occur when the sun and moon are aligned. The moon is therefore invisible from Earth, creating the darkest sky of the month—perfect for camping trips out to observe stars and see the Milky Way. Read our guide to stargazing and find Hipcamps under dark skies.

  • Northern Hemisphere constellations to see: Gemini, Auriga, Monoceros
  • Southern Hemisphere constellations to see: Orion, Sirius within Canis Major, Puppis
Photo by Natalia Martinez

February

🌕 Wed. February 16 | Full Moon (aka the Snow Moon): Full moons occur when Earth is located between the sun and moon, making the moon appear fully illuminated from Earth. It can be more difficult to see constellations with a bright full moon, but it does make for great moonlit hikes and family camping trips.

March

🌑 Wed. March 2 | New Moon: The first phase of the lunar calendar, new moons occur when the sun and moon are aligned. The moon is therefore invisible from Earth, creating the darkest sky of the month—perfect for camping trips out to observe bright stars and see the Milky Way. Read our guide to stargazing and find Hipcamps under dark skies.

  • Northern Hemisphere constellations to see: Ursa Major and the Big Dipper, Cancer
  • Southern Hemisphere constellations to see: Volans, Carina, Vela

🌕 Fri. March 18 | Full Moon (aka the Worm Moon): Full moons occur when Earth is located between the sun and moon, making the moon appear fully illuminated from Earth. It can be more difficult to see constellations with a bright full moon, but it does make for great moonlit hikes and family camping trips.

🌷🍂 Sunday, March 20 | March Equinox: In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the first day of spring, and in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the first day of fall.

🪐 Mon. March 28 | Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Moon Cluster: About an hour before sunrise, you’ll be able to see Venus, Mars, and Saturn all grouped into a triangle right next to the crescent moon.

🌑 Thurs. March 31 | New Moon: The first phase of the lunar calendar, new moons occur when the sun and moon are aligned. The moon is therefore invisible from Earth, creating the darkest sky of the month—perfect for camping trips out to observe star clusters and see the Milky Way. Read our guide to stargazing and find camps under dark skies.

  • Northern Hemisphere constellations to see: Ursa Major, Leo, Leo’s Minor
  • Southern Hemisphere constellations to see: Chameleon, Hydra, Sextans
Photo by Brendan Simpson

April

April is Global Astronomy Month, and April 22–30 is International Dark Sky Week!

☄️ Thurs. & Fri. April 21–22 | Lyrid Meteor Shower: Producing 20 shooting stars per hour, the Lyrids are unique thanks to easier-to-spot meteors that leave long dust trails lasting several seconds.

🌕 Sat. April 16 | Full Moon (aka the Pink Moon): Full moons occur when Earth is located between the sun and moon, making the moon appear fully illuminated from Earth. It can be more difficult to see constellations with a bright full moon, but it does make for great moonlit hikes and family camping trips.

🌑 Sat. April 30 | New Moon: The first phase of the lunar calendar, new moons occur when the sun and moon are aligned. The moon is therefore invisible from Earth, creating the darkest sky of the month—perfect for camping trips out to observe the brightest stars and see the Milky Way. Read our guide to stargazing and find camps under dark skies.

  • Northern Hemisphere constellations to see: Virgo
  • Southern Hemisphere constellations to see: Virgo, Musca, Centaurus
Photo by Kate Bennett

May

☄️ Wed. & Thurs. May 4–5 | Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower: Producing up to 50 meteors per hour at its peak and timed nicely before the new moon, the Eta Aquarids are one of this year’s best showers. The shooting stars are produced by dust particles from Halley’s Comet—escape the city for a glimpse!

🌕 Sun. May 15 | Full Moon (aka the Flower Moon): Full moons occur when Earth is located between the sun and moon, making the moon appear fully illuminated from Earth. It can be more difficult to see constellations with a bright full moon, but it does make for great moonlit hikes and family camping trips.

🔴 Mon. May 16 | Total Lunar Eclipse: More common than a total solar eclipse but still fairly rare, total lunar eclipses occur when Earth sits between the sun and the full moon, blocking the sun’s rays from lighting up the moon. Earth’s shadow will completely cover the moon, a sight that will be most visible in the eastern US and Canada.

🌑 Mon. May 30 | New Moon: The first phase of the lunar calendar, new moons occur when the sun and moon are aligned. The moon is therefore invisible from Earth, creating the darkest sky of the month—perfect for camping trips out to observe stars and see the Milky Way. Read our guide to stargazing and find Hipcamps under dark skies.

  • Northern Hemisphere constellations to see: Hercules, Boötes
  • Southern Hemisphere constellations to see: Libra, Lupus
Photo by Michelle Park

June

🌕 Mon. June 13 | Full Moon (aka the Strawberry Moon), Supermoon: This supermoon will appear slightly larger in the sky. Full moons occur when Earth is located between the sun and moon, making the moon appear fully illuminated from Earth. It can be more difficult to see constellations with a bright full moon, but it does make for great moonlit hikes and family camping trips.

☀️❄️ Tues. June 21 | June Solstice: In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the longest day of the year and the start of summer, and in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the shortest day of the year and the start of winter. This is due to the North Pole tilting away from the sun, and the South Pole tilting toward it.

🪐 Fri. June 24 | Planets align: A rare sight, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will all line up with the moon, and you should be able to see it with your naked eye. The crescent moon will sit between Venus and Mars.

🌑 Tues. June 28 | New Moon: The first phase of the lunar calendar, new moons occur when the sun and moon are aligned. The moon is therefore invisible from Earth, creating the darkest sky of the month—perfect for camping trips out to observe stars and see the Milky Way. Read our guide to stargazing and find camps under dark skies.

  • Northern Hemisphere constellations to see: Sagittarius, Hercules, Draco
  • Southern Hemisphere constellations to see: Scorpius, Ara, Ophiuchus

July

🌕 Wed. July 13 | Full Moon (aka the Buck Moon), Supermoon: This supermoon will appear slightly larger in the sky. Full moons occur when Earth is located between the sun and moon, making the moon appear fully illuminated from Earth. It can be more difficult to see constellations with a bright full moon, but it does make for great moonlit hikes and family camping trips.

🌑 Thurs. July 28 | New Moon: The first phase of the lunar calendar, new moons occur when the sun and moon are aligned. The moon is therefore invisible from Earth, creating the darkest sky of the month—perfect for camping trips out to observe stars and see the Milky Way. Read our guide to stargazing and find camps under dark skies.

  • Northern Hemisphere constellations to see: Lyra, Sagitta, Aquila
  • Southern Hemisphere constellations to see: Sagittarius, Corona Australis, Pavo

☄️ Thurs.-Sun. July 28–31 | Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower: The Delta Aquarids are fairly minor, but conditions will be great given the peak is taking place so close to the new moon. Find Hipcamps under dark skies.

Photo by Ezequiel Gonzalez

August

🌕 Thurs. August 11 | Full Moon (aka the Sturgeon Moon): Full moons occur when Earth is located between the sun and moon, making the moon appear fully illuminated from Earth. It can be more difficult to see constellations with a bright full moon, but it does make for great moonlit hikes and family camping trips.

☄️ Sat. Aug 13 | Perseid Meteor Shower: The Perseids are one of the best meteor showers of the year, even despite it taking place under a full moon. Wait until it’s dark out, and you can see up to 60 shooting stars per hour (that’s one per minute!) during this midweek show. Find camps under dark skies.

🌑 Fri. August 26 | New Moon: The first phase of the lunar calendar, new moons occur when the sun and moon are aligned. The moon is therefore invisible from Earth, creating the darkest sky of the month—perfect for camping trips out to observe stars and see the Milky Way. Read our guide to stargazing and find Hipcamps under dark skies.

  • Northern Hemisphere constellations to see: Delphinus, Vulpecula, Cygnus
  • Southern Hemisphere constellations to see: Capricornus, Indus, Microscopium
Photo by Rachel Veale

September

🌕 Fri. September 9 | Full Moon (aka the Harvest Moon): Full moons occur when Earth is located between the sun and moon, making the moon appear fully illuminated from Earth. It can be more difficult to see constellations with a bright full moon, but it does make for great moonlit hikes and family camping trips.

🍂🌷 Thurs. September 22 | September Equinox: In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the first day of fall, and in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the first day of spring.

🌑 Sun. September 25 | New Moon: The first phase of the lunar calendar, new moons occur when the sun and moon are aligned. The moon is therefore invisible from Earth, creating the darkest sky of the month—perfect for camping trips out to observe stars and see the Milky Way. Read our guide to stargazing and find camps under dark skies.

  • Northern Hemisphere constellations to see: Pegasus, Lacerta
  • Southern Hemisphere constellations to see: Aquarius, Grus, Piscis Austrinus

October

October 1 is International Observe the Moon Night! See what local events might be going on in your area.

☄️ Sat. & Sun. October 8–9 | Draconid Meteor Shower: October sees two meteor showers, the first being the Draconids. Wait until it’s dark, and hope for a cloudless sky to see this minor shower.

🌕 Sun. October 9 | Full Moon (aka the Hunter’s Moon): Full moons occur when Earth is located between the sun and moon, making the moon appear fully illuminated from Earth. It can be more difficult to see constellations with a bright full moon, but it does make for great moonlit hikes and family camping trips.

☄️ Thurs. & Fri. October 20–21 | Orionid Meteor Shower: The second meteor shower in October and the better of the two thanks to the new moon, the Orionids appear due to debris left by Halley’s Comet, just as is the case with the Eta Aquarids in May. It’s said that the Orionids are best seen near the Orion constellation.

🌑 Mon. October 24 | New Moon: The first phase of the lunar calendar, new moons occur when the sun and moon are aligned. The moon is therefore invisible from Earth, creating the darkest sky of the month—perfect for camping trips out to observe stars and see the Milky Way. Read our guide to stargazing and find Hipcamps under dark skies.

  • Northern Hemisphere constellations to see: Pisces, Cassiopeia, Cepheus
  • Southern Hemisphere constellations to see: Phoenix, Tucana, Sculptor
Photo by Kat Wagner

November

🌕 Mon. November 7 | Full Moon (aka the Beaver Moon): Full moons occur when Earth is located between the sun and moon, making the moon appear fully illuminated from Earth. It can be more difficult to see constellations with a bright full moon, but it does make for great moonlit hikes and family camping trips.

🔴 Tues. November 8 | Total Lunar Eclipse: The moon will be covered by Earth’s shadow at this eclipse’s peak, giving the entire thing a reddish glow. The western US and Canada will get to see the entire thing, while Australia and the Eastern half of North America will see most of it.

☄️ Thurs.-Sun. Nov 10-13 | Taurid Meteor Shower: Producing up to 10 meteors per hour, this is only a minor meteor shower but still a great reason to find yourself outside under the stars. Search for Hipcamps under dark skies.

☄️ Wed.-Fri. Nov 16–18 | Leonid Meteor Shower: The Leonids typically produce up to 20 meteors per hour.

🌑 Wed. November 23 | New Moon: The first phase of the lunar calendar, new moons occur when the sun and moon are aligned. The moon is therefore invisible from Earth, creating the darkest sky of the month—perfect for camping trips out to observe stars and see the Milky Way. Read our guide to stargazing and find camps under dark skies.

  • Northern Hemisphere constellations to see: Aries, Perseus
  • Southern Hemisphere constellations to see: Horologium, Eridanus

December

🌕 Wed. December 7 | Full Moon (aka the Cold Moon): Full moons occur when Earth is located between the sun and moon, making the moon appear fully illuminated from Earth. It can be more difficult to see constellations with a bright full moon, but it does make for great moonlit hikes and family camping trips.

☄️ Tues. & Wed. December 13–14 | Geminid Meteor Shower: Producing up to 120 meteors per hour at its peak, the Geminids are one of the best meteor showers to see all year, despite the bright moon seen at this time. Amateur astronomers should wait until the moon sets around 3am for the best shot at spotting the shooting stars. Find Hipcamps under dark skies.

❄️☀️ Wed. December 21 | December Solstice: In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the shortest day of the year and the start of winter, and in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the longest day of the year and the kickoff to summer. This is due to the North Pole tilting away from the sun, and the South Pole tilting toward it.

☄️ Thurs. & Fri. December 22–23 | Ursid Meteor Shower: Producing 5 to 10 meteors per hour, the Ursids are a fairly minor showing, but the new moon gives you a great shot at spotting them. Visiting a dark sky spot will give you the best chance of seeing the last shower of the year.

🌑 Thurs. December 22 | New Moon: The first phase of the lunar calendar, new moons occur when the sun and moon are aligned. The moon is therefore invisible from Earth, creating the darkest sky of the month—perfect for camping trips out to observe stars and see the Milky Way. Read our guide to stargazing and find camps under dark skies.

  • Northern Hemisphere constellations to see: Ursa Minor, Ursa Major
  • Southern Hemisphere constellations to see: Taurus, Orion

Start planning your next adventure by booking one of the best campsites for stargazing in time for a celestial event.

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