Have you ever been outside late at night and seen the sky full of bright, shining stars? How about a meteor shower or the dancing northern lights? If you have yet to experience seeing these celestial shows, there are plenty of opportunities to view these beautiful phenomenons in the upcoming year.
If you are looking to experience a stunning meteor shower, the Lyrid meteor shower will be active from April 15 to April 29. This annual shower will peak this year before dawn on April 22. There will be roughly 20 meteors per hour. This shower is located in the sky near the constellation Lyra. This constellation is near the more familiar constellation of Hercules.
A more colorful show in the sky in 2022 will be the northern lights. These magical light shows are produced from electrons from the sun being blown by the solar winds. When the winds blow across the top of the atmosphere, it creates the colors we see as the aurora. The northern lights can be seen year-round if conditions are suitable. However, December through March is usually the best time to see the lights.
Other fun celestial lights to see this year include constellations. Constellations are a true wonder in the sky, forming shapes you can see without a telescope. As long as the night isn’t cloudy, these formations will be available all night, all year. Some of the most popular constellations are the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper and Orion the Hunter. Keep in mind that as the Earth rotates, the stars are different, so some constellations are seen only in the winter months and some are only seen in the summer months.
This year will be filled with fun opportunities to see celestial wonders in the sky, and you don’t need a fancy telescope to see many of them! Have fun and happy stargazing!
Brooklyn Hager, 15, is a freshman at Rugby High School, where she is involved in cross-country, volleyball, basketball and softball. She enjoys sports, writing and photography. Brooklyn is the daughter of Dustin and Angela Hager, members of North Central Electric Cooperative.