The Ultimate Almanac

Rare, unusual and/or spectacular sky events in the 21st century

Glorious events in the remainder of the century

Date Event Where Next References
2001
Nov. 18
Leonid meteor storm with two peaks, the Asian one with a Zenithal Hourly Rate approaching 4000. Americas; Asia/Australia 1 Cosmic Mirror (lead)
2002
May 5
Triangle of three bright planets, Venus, Mars and Saturn, in the evening sky. Northern hemisphere ? Gallery, Fischer2
2002
Nov. 19
Final Leonid meteor storm of the 'season', again two peaks, in bright moonlight. Europe; Americas 32? Cosmic Mirror (lead)
2003
Aug. 27
Mars particularly close to Earth, closer than in almost 60,000 years - to be topped only 2287. Globe 18 (284) Cosmic Mirror (story 3), MLN
2003
Nov. 4
Strongest solar flare on (recent) record, may have reached X45. Globe ? AGU
2003
Nov. 23
Total Solar Eclipse over Antarctica, the first on record to be observed from the continent. Antarctica ? Cosmic Mirror (lead), Harrington1: p. 151-3
2004
May 4
Occultation of Zubenelgenubi during a Total Lunar Eclipse, seen grazing from Southern Africa. Namibia, RSA 46 Fischer
2004
May
Pair of naked-eye comets visible simultaneously, though both are some 80° apart (happened last in 1911). Southern hemisphere ? Cosmic Mirror (story 3), Bryant1
2004
June 8
Transit of Venus, the first in 122 years and the best-observed by far. Almost globe 8 Cosmic Mirror (lead)
2004
Dec. 10-13
All nine planets lined up in the 'right' order as seen from Earth - such a constellation happens only every few centuries on average. Globe 329 Sky & Tel.
2004
2nd half of Dec.
All naked-eye planets visible simultaneously in the morning sky, though spanning an arc from East to West. Globe 9 Arcturus (PDF; p. 20), Nat'l Geogr., Flannery1
2005
June 25
Venus, Mercury & Saturn fit into a 2° triangle, very low in the West at dusk, though. Not in the North ca. 25 Science@NASA, S&T, Knight Ridder
2005
June 27
Close conjunction of Mercury & Venus, minimum separation 5 arc min (also 2030, 2070, 2084 and 2099). ? 25 Fischer3; pictures + links in the
2005
July 4
Impact of Deep Impact into comet Tempel 1 which could increase its brightness dramatically. California ? Cosmic Mirror (lead)
2005
Oct. 19
Occultation of 1 mag. star Regulus by asteroid (166) Rhodope, maximum duration 1 second. Portugal, Spain 9 IOTA, Manek, EAON, Preston, Schnabel, Farago. Earlier: Denissenko Cosmic Mirror (header)

Where: Area(s) of best visibility
Next: In how many years does the same or a similar event take place?
References: Key web links or other references