If stargazing is your thing, the remainder of 2023 has supermoons, meteor showers and eclipses on the horizon so it's time to start planning on how to check out these major celestial events in Canada.
There are so many stunning celestial events that will be lighting up the night skies from August right through to December so Canadians will have plenty of opportunities to get out and catch a glimpse of shooting stars and more.
So if you're looking for a some pointers on when you'll be able to catch supermoons and meteor showers, this is your guide to what the rest of the year has in store.
August 2023 is set to be a pretty impressive month for celestial events so keen stargazers might want to take note.
Most years, there is just one full moon a month as the cycle is 29.5 days, according to NASA. But August is set to be different, with two full moons appearing before the month is out.
Not only will there be a double-showing of the full moon, but they'll also be supermoons meaning they will be brighter and larger than usual.
Supermoons take place because the moon orbits the Earth in an oval shape, meaning that its distance from our planet changes as it travels. A supermoon takes place when the moon is at the closest point to Earth.
According to Old Farmer's Almanac, the first of these supermoons will take place on August 1, when Canadians will be able to see the Sturgeon Moon.
Later in the month, on the evening of August 30 into the morning of August 31, we'll get the Blue Moon. Sadly, this doesn't mean the moon will actually be blue. It is a rarer phenomenon though, only happening every two to three years, Old Farmer's Almanac added.
As well as two supermoons, Canadians will also be treated to the peak of the Perseids meteor shower in mid-August.
According to NASA, Perseids is considered the "best meteor shower of the year" and while it kicked off on July 17, the peak will be taking place on the night of August 12 into the early hours of August 13, 2023.
When the shower peaks, you may be able to see up to 100 meteors an hour travelling through the sky at speeds of 59 kilometres a second.
In September, Canadians may be able to catch a glimpse of another supermoon in the sky. On September 28 into September 29, the Harvest Moon will be making an appearance and it'll be the last supermoon of the year, EarthSky said.
According to Farmer's Almanac, the Harvest Moon gets its name by being the closest full moon to the fall equinox, which this year lands on September 23.
The peak illumination of the supermoon will be at 5:58 a.m. ET so you'll need to be an early riser to catch it at its best.
October will be the month of eclipses with both a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse expected to be visible in parts of Canada over the course of the month.
According to the Canadian Space Agency, a partial solar eclipse will be visible across Canada on October 14, 2023, because the moon will come between the Earth and the Sun, casting a shadow over Earth.
If you want to check it out, you'll need to buy some special sunglasses with filters specifically designed for eclipse watching. Regular sunglasses unfortunately won't protect your eyes well enough, the space agency warns.
Later in the month, people in eastern and northern Canada will be able to see a partial lunar eclipse on the night of October 28 into the morning of October 29, 2023.
This happens when the Earth is in between the Moon and the Sun, and the Moon passes into the shadow cast by Earth, the Canadian Space Agency said.
As well as the eclipses, October will also see the peak of the Orionids meteor shower on October 20 into October 21, 2023, where you'll be able to see around 10 to 20 meteors per hour, according to EarthSky.
In November, Canadians might just be able to catch a glimpse of three different meteor showers taking place throughout the month.
First up will be the Southern Taurids meteor shower, which according to EarthSky, is predicted to peak around November 6, 2023. It'll be followed by the Northern Taurids which are predicted to peak on November 13, 2023.Neither of these showers have noticeable peaks in the way other meteor showers do but they're especially visible from late October into early November when they coincide.
Taurid meteors tend to be slow-moving but they can actually be very bright, EarthSky added. With optimal viewing conditions (a dark sky with no moon), the showers produce around five meteors an hour or up to 10 if they're overlapping.
The Taurids have also been known to produce fireballs, however, it's unlikely in 2023 as they come around usually every seven years, with the last fireballs seen in 2022.
Shortly after the Taurids, Canadians will also be able to catch the Leonids meteor shower which is due to peak on late night of November 17 until dawn on November 18. However, you may also catch a good view on the morning of November 17, EarthySky said.
Conditions for seeing the meteor shower are likely to be pretty good around this time too as the first quarter moon falls on November 20, meaning there won't be too much interference from the moonlight during this shower. You could potentially see 10 to 15 meteors per hour.
December brings even more meteor showers to Canadian skies, including the Geminids, which according to EarthSky is one of the "Northern Hemisphere’s best showers."
The "bold, white, bright" Geminids are predicted to peak around December 13 and 14, 2023 and you'll be able to see them all night long.As the new moon falls on December 12, the sky will be pretty dark during the peak of the Geminids shower so if you're prepared to wrap up and brave the cold, you might just catch a spectacular show of shooting stars.
Later in the month, the final shower of the year – the Ursids meteor shower – is predicted to peak around December 23 so looking out for them on the early morning hours of December 22 and 23 is the best time, EarthSky said.
However, the hourly rate of meteors during this shower is usually a lot less than the Geminids and the Moon will be at around 85% illumination which could interfere with seeing shooting stars until the Moon sets around three hours before sunrise.
Where to see these celestial events
For the very best views of the supermoons or meteor showers, you'll need a dark sky with little to no light pollution so it's always worth heading to one of Canada's many dark sky preserves across the country.
Parks Canada has 13 different dark sky preserves across provinces and territories that are well worth checking out for the most impressive views of the night sky. A full list can be found on the Parks Canada website.