All the Best Stargazing Events You Can Catch in 2024

From a total solar eclipse to many meteor showers, here's what 2024 has in store for you.

With the Geminids putting on an impressive show earlier this month, we're finishing an astronomically-packed year pretty strong, but 2024 definitely has some surprises in store for us.

While we got some quality and pretty rare celestial sightings this year (remember the annular eclipse in October?), some bigger and even rarer events are on schedule for the next year, including a pretty awe-inspring and phenomenal total solar eclipse in April. And that's not even the only eclipse to come, considering the moon will bless us with a partial lunar eclipse in the last quarter of the year.

But let's get to business. As space enthusiasts will know, astronomical calendars are packed every year with all sorts of minor and major events, so if you're a newbie to stargazing it might get difficult to single out the most important ones to be on the lookout for. To help you navigate the astronomical calendar to come, we put together a list of what we think are the best stargazing events of the year, from eclipses to meteor showers and more. You can check them out below.

Quadrantids Meteor Shower
Peak: January 3-4
To start the year on the right foot, an above average meteor shower is greeting us and peaking at the beginning of January. The Quadrantids should deliver up to 40 meteors per hour during peak times, but you can catch its meteors as early as January 1 and up until January 5. Watch out for the moon, which will be in its waning gibbous phase. While it will outshine some of the dimmer meteors, you should still be able to catch the shiniest ones.

Total Solar Eclipse
When: April 8
On April 8, North and Central America will be blessed with a rare and gorgeous total solar eclipse, which will have us witness the sun completely disappear behind the moon for roughly four minutes and change. If you haven't yet made plans to be on the path of totality for the event, make sure you do—it is truly a sight to behold and, according to multiple people who have witnessed it, it is a deeply emotional experience. Check out our guide right here to learn more.

Lyrids Meteor Shower
Peak: April 22-23
The Lyrids are always neat, though nothing too grandiose in terms of meteor frequency—but they're a nice sight to behold in the spring. It's considered an average shower, and viewers should expect to catch around 20 meteors per hour during peak times. However, this year you might not be very lucky—the moon will be full during those days, so only the brightest meteors will be visible.

Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower
Peak: May 6-7
While the Lyrids might be a little disappointing, the Eta Aquarids will definitely make up for it in 2024. This meteor shower is already considered above average with up to 60 shooting stars per hour in the Southern Hemisphere and up to roughly 30 in the Northern Hemisphere. This upcoming year, thanks to a new moon and very dark skies, the Eta Aquarids should be very visible—so get your wishes ready!

And don't forget about their cousins, the Delta Aquariids, peaking between July 28 and 29. They're a different meteor shower, of course, but they radiate from the same constellation of Aquarius. Due to the second quarter moon phase, most of the faint meteors won't be visible, but you should still be able to see some of the brightest ones.

Perseids Meteor Shower
Peak: August 12-13
Next summer, one of the most iconic meteor showers will peak between August 12 and August 13, though it runs, more generally, from July 17 to August 24. The moon this time will be in its first quarter phase, so some of the dimmer meteors will be blocked by the moonlight—but don't worry, the shower is set to produce up to 60 shooting stars per hour, so you should still be able to see some of them.

A Supermoon Trifecta
When: September 18, October 17, and November 15
Come the fall, supermoons will be all around. Supermoons are a pretty rare sight to behold, and there are only three in store for us in 2024. Every time a full moon happens when the moon is at its closest point to the Earth, that's called a supermoon. The reason is simple—due to its proximity to the Earth, it appears bigger and brighter than your average full moon (according to EarthSky, it exceeds the disk size and brightness of an average full moon by roughly 16%.) It won't technically appear bigger to your eyes though, because the difference is not really perceivable with the naked eye, but it will definitely look brighter. 

A Partial Lunar Eclipse
When: September 18
Partial lunar eclipses are always worth looking out for, and NASA astronomer Dr. Michelle Lynn Thaller will tell you the same. When she spoke to Thrillist about the astronomical events to keep in mind in 2024, she said that while total lunar eclipses are the coolest, partial lunar eclipses are still worth a peek. "During what they call a partial lunar eclipse, [the moon] will pass partially through the dark part of the shadow, but it won't block out the whole moon," Dr. Thaller explained. "Though, you'll see a sort of a dark shadow on the moon. That's cool. That's always neat." Make sure to catch the one happening on September 18, which will be visible throughout most of North America, Mexico, Central America, South America, the Atlantic Ocean, and most of Europe and Africa.

An Annular Solar Eclipse
When: October 2
Get ready for a cool one in October. At the beginning of the month, an annular solar eclipse is slated to happen, and, due to its nature, it is also called a "ring of fire" eclipse. In this instance, the moon is too far away from the sun to cover it completely, so when it passes in front of it, only a sun ring remains visible. This specific one will be visible in its annular splendor in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of South America and through some parts of southern Chile and Argentina. Most of southern South America, instead, will be able to see a partial eclipse, as it won't be in the "ring path."

Draconids Meteor Shower
Peak: October 7
The Draconids will give you a little treat in early October, but don't get too hyped up. It's considered a minor meteor shower (up to 10 meteors per hour), and differently than other showers, it's best visible during early evening hours rather than early morning and middle of the night. The moon won't obstruct the view too much, so you should be able to catch some meteors.

Orionids Meteor Shower
Peak: October 21-22
Towards the end of October, the Orionids will be visible with up to 20 shooting stars per hour during peak times. This time, unfortunately, the waning gibbous moon will be in the way, blocking out most dimmest meteors.

Taurids Meteor Shower
Peak: November 4-5
The Taurids might be a minor meteor shower, but differently than the other ones, they give you two separate chances to really catch them. With two separate streams, the Taurids produce usually 5-10 meteors per hour, and they run from September 7 through December 10. The peak, however, will be between November 4 and 5. Unfortunately, the first quarter moon will be in the way, but you should still be able to catch some of them.

Leonids Meteor Shower
Peak: November 17-18
In November, the Leonids are up. They are an average meteor shower with up to 15 meteors per hour during peak times, but they won't really be visible this time due to a nearly full moon. Don't get discouraged, though—you should still be able to see a few ones in the night sky after midnight.

Geminids Meteor Shower
Peak: December 13-14
The reigning queen of meteor showers will be outshined by the nearly full moon in 2024, but thanks to its many, many meteors (up to 120 per hour during peak), stargazers will still be able to see the brightest ones anywhere in the sky.

Ursids Meteor Shower
Peak: December 21-22
Closing up 2024 will be the Ursids meteor shower, which is minor, but still notable. Right before Christmas, the shower will hit its peak, and even though the waning gibbous moon will be outshining most of its dim meteors, stargazers should still be able to catch some of the brighter ones if they locate themselves in a very dark location.

Ready to go stargazing?

Here are all the best stargazing events that you can get out and see this month or you could stay in and stream the northern lights from home. If you're just getting started, check out our guide to astronomy for beginners or easy stargazing road trips from big US cities.

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Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She will beg you not to put pineapple on pizza. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.