A Look Ahead at 2014: Stars, Mars, Meteors and More

The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2014 was released earlier this month.

The Pinwheel Galaxy (M101) found in the Ursa Major constellation. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/STScI/CXC at NASA.gov.
The Pinwheel Galaxy (M101) found in the Ursa Major constellation. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/STScI/CXC at NASA.gov.

As the year winds down, book stores are full of almanacs and other time capsules reflecting on the year that was.

Throughout the next few weeks, we’re going to take a look at some of features in the World Almanac and Book of Facts 2014, which was released in print in November and in e-publication earlier this month.

Let’s take a look at the upcoming year in celestial events: Seeing stars, planets, meteor showers and other cool things in the sky.

2014 Celestial Events

  • January 16 — Full Moon
  • February — Mars rises late in the evening and is high in the southwest at sunrise.
  • March 1 and 30 — New Moon
  • April 15 — Full Moon, Total Lunar eclipse
  • May — Venus is low in the east before sunrise all month
  • June — Jupiter is in the west at sunset and sets in the late evening.
  • July 5 — First Quarter Moon
  • August 13 — Perseid meteor shower
  • September — Saturn is in the southwest at sunset and sets several hours later.
  • October 21 — Orionid meteor shower
  • November 17 — Leonid meteor shower
  • December 14 — Gemenid meteor shower

Some Famous Constellations and What They Mean

  • Aquarius = water bearer
  • Canis Major = big dog
  • Cassiopeia = queen
  • Delphinus = dolphin
  • Mensa = table mountain
  • Norma = square
  • Orion = hunter
  • Ursa Major = big bear
  • Virgo = maiden

Did You Know?

  • The largest, most massive planet is Jupiter.
  • The fastest orbiting planet is Mercury.
  • The planet with the most moons is Jupiter.
  • The planet with the tallest mountain is Mars.
  • The slowest orbiting planet is Neptune.
  • The hottest planet is Venus.

You Thought Your Days Were Long…

A day (midday to midday) on each planet is:

  • Mercury = 175.94 days
  • Venus = 116.75 days
  • Mars = 24 hours 39 minutes 35 seconds
  • Jupiter = 9 hours 55 minutes 33 seconds
  • Saturn = 10 hours 39 minutes 23 seconds
  • Uranus = 17 hours 14 minutes 23 seconds
  • Neptune = 16 hours 6 minutes 37 seconds
  • Earth = 24 hours
If you're interested in more space stuff, and there's tons of great information out there, start off with the NASA.gov site and all of the organization's social media accounts!

This post also appeared on my site: DanielleMastersonBooks.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »