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These are the cosmic events an astronomer looks forward to in 2023, and recommends you check out, too

Cincinnati Observatory DEC2021.jpg
The Cincinnati Observatory.

Now is the time to plan your cosmic calendar.

At least seven months of events are worth seeing, according to Cincinnati Observatory Astronomer and WVXU podcast host of Looking Up Dean Regas.

Planets will appear really close to one another

On Jan. 22, Venus and Saturn will be about one-third of a degree apart. Regas says that's close enough to see them both at the same time through a telescope. On Jan. 25, the giant planet Jupiter will be in conjunction with the crescent moon. And on March 1, Venus and Jupiter will be close. Look up in the western night sky.

Get away from the city to see shooting stars

The Lyrids peak April 22-23. Regas calls them OK, but says the other ones will be better, with the Perseids peaking Aug. 12-13; the Orionids Oct. 21; the Leonids Nov. 17; and the Geminids Dec. 13.

He suggests you leave the city lights behind and head to a place like Stonelick State Park, which is free and open to the public.

The Blue Moon this year is a Supermoon

Blue Moons — the second full moon in a month and not really blue — happen every couple of years. There wasn’t one in 2022 but mark it down on your calendar for this year Aug. 30-31.

Regas explains this year will also feature a Supermoon. "It's slightly closer to the Earth and will look slightly bigger in the sky," he says. "It's mostly just a name and a cool event but it's not like we're going to get excited about it, but definitely check it out."

Partial solar eclipse, a preview to next year’s total eclipse

On Oct. 14, we'll experience a partial solar eclipse with half of the sun blocked out. A trip out West to a narrow swath of the country — from southern Oregon to southwestern Texas — will see an annular eclipse. That's when the moon fits inside the sun and you see a ring of fire. Regas is making plans to travel, maybe to New Mexico, to see it.

On April 8, 2024, there will be a total eclipse of the sun. "All you'll have to do is go toward Indianapolis or Dayton. We are recommending people don't stay in Cincinnati to see 99 percent blockage," he says. "You want to see the whole thing blocked out. We want to get schools cancelled, work cancelled and if you need an astronomer note to get out of work, let me know."

Ann Thompson has years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology