Here is a list of celestial events in 2021 — full moons, eclipses, meteor showers — that will be sure to dazzle and delight.
Mark your calendars, set your reminders, and let the kids stay up late!
Full Moons and Eclipses in 2021
January 28: Wolf Moon
The first full moon of the new year!
Also known as: Center Moon (Assiniboine), Cold Moon (Cree), Frost Exploding Moon (Cree), Freeze Up Moon (Algonquin), Severe Moon (Dakota), Hard Moon (Dakota), Wolves Run Together Moon (Sioux), Sun Has Not Strength to Thaw Moon (Sioux), Bear-Hunting Moon (Haida), Moon of Life at its Height (Hopi), Winter’s Little Brother (Choctaw)
February 27: Snow Moon
This moon will peak on the morning of Saturday, February 27, but will be best viewed on the night of Friday, February 26.
also known as: Bald Eagle Moon, Eagle Moon (Cree), Bear Moon (Ojibwe), Black Bear Moon (Tlingit), Raccoon Moon (Dakota), Groundhog Moon (Algonquin), Goose Moon (Haida), Month of the Bony Moon, Hungry Moon (Cherokee).
March 28: Worm Moon
The first full moon after the spring equinox, it determines Easter’s date.
Also known as: Paschal Full Moon, Worm Moon (earthworms start to re-appear), Crow Comes Back Moon (Northern Ojibwe, crows’ call signals end of winter), Wind Strong Moon (Pueblo, season of strong windy days), Crust Moon (snow cover forms crust from thawing/freezing), Sap Moon or Sugar Moon (Ojibwe, time to tap maple trees), Sore Eyes Moon (Dakota, Lakota, Assiniboine, blinding sunlight reflecting off melting snow)
April 26: Super Pink Moon
This first supermoon of 2021 will not actually be pink in color, as its name implies, but is named after the early Springtime blooms of the (pink) phlox.
Also known as: Breaking Ice Moon (Algonquin), Moon When the Streams are Again Navigable (Dakota), Budding Moon of Plants and Shrubs (Tlingit), Moon of the Red Grass Appearing (Oglala), Moon When the Ducks Come Back (Lakota), Moon When the Geese Lay Eggs (Dakota), Frog Moon (Cree), Sucker Moon (Anishinaabe), Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon, Full Fish Moon.
May 26: Super Flower Blood Moon
SUPERMOON & TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE!
This largest and brightest supermoon of 2021 (named for the abundance of flowers at this time of year) combines with a total lunar eclipse (also known as a Blood Moon, named for its red hue) for quite a show on May 26.
Total lunar eclipse: The earth is aligned between the moon and the sun, and the shadow of the earth is cast onto the full moon.
Only the Pacific Rim will see the eclipse’s totality (which will only last 14 min 30 sec), some other regions seeing partial phases. The supermoon will be visible by the entire world.
June 10: Ring of Fire Solar Eclipse
In a solar eclipse, the moon passes in between the Earth and the sun, blocking the sun and casting a shadow on the Earth.
The Ring of FIre solar eclipse is a (partial) annular eclipse, where the moon isn’t close enough to the Earth to fully cover the sun, leaving a ring of sunlight around the moon.
June 24: Super Strawberry Moon
Named for the time of year when strawberries are harvested, this is the first full moon of the summer and the last supermoon of 2021. The Super Strawberry Moon will officially be full before 3pm EST, but not visible until is rises above the horizon.
Also known as: Rose Moon, Mead Moon, Honey Moon, Flower Moon, Hot Moon, Hoe Moon, Planting Moon, Birth Moon (Tlingit), Hoer Moon (Western Abenaki), Green Corn Moon (Cherokee), Blooming Moon (Anishinaabe), Berries Ripen Moon (Haida).
July 23: Buck Moon
This full moon is named for the time of year when bucks start to grow their new antlers
Also known as: Feather Moulting Moon (Cree), Salmon Moon (Tlingit), Halfway Summer Moon and Berry Moon (Anishinaabe), Moon When the Chokecherries are Ripe (Dakota), Month of the Ripe Corn Moon (Cherokee), Raspberry Moon (Ojibwe, Algonquin), Thunder Moon (Western Abenaki)
August 22: Blue Sturgeon Moon
This full moon is a seasonal Blue Moon, the third full moon in an astronomical season with four full moons (one extra). It will reach peak fullness at 8 am EST, but best viewed the nights of the 21 or the 22. It is called the Sturgeon Moon for the time when these large fish were most readily caught in the Great Lakes.
Also known as: Flying Up Moon (Cree), Corn Moon (Algonquin, Ojibwe), Harvest Moon (Dakota), Ricing Moon (Anishinaabe), Black Cherries Moon (Assiniboine), Mountain Shadows Moon (Tlingit), Grain Moon.
September 20: Harvest Moon
Although technically occurring during the summer season, this full moon is the closest to the Autumn Equinox
(September 22) and is therefore dubbed the Harvest Moon.
Unlike other moons, it rises around the same time (near sunset) for several nights in a row. It will appear full the night before and the night after its peak.
Also known as: Corn Moon, Autumn Moon (Cree), Falling Leaves Moon (Ojibwe), Leaves Turning Moon (Anishinaabe), Moon of Brown Leaves (Lakota), Yellow Leaf Moon (Assiniboine), Child Moon (Tlingit), Mating Moon (Cree), Rutting Moon (Cree).
October 20: Hunter’s Moon
Similar to the Harvest Moon, the Hunter’s Moon will appear full the night before and the night after its peak. Look for it on the nights of October 18-21. It may also appear larger than normal with an orange hue when rising above the horizon shortly after sunset.
also known as: Drying Rice Moon (Dakota); Freezing Moon (Ojibwe); Falling Leaves Moon (Anishinaabe); Ice Moon (Haida); Migrating Moon (Cree); Dying Grass Moon, Blackberry Moon, Sanguine Moon; Blood Moon (English Medieval); Seed Moon (South African); Kindly Moon (Chinese); Egg Moon, Pink Moon, Fish Moon, Waking Moon (Southern Hemisphere)
November 18-19: Half-Blood Beaver Moon Eclipse
This partial eclipse will be visible over Asia, Australia and the Americas on November 19 and some parts of Hawaii and Alaska on November 18.
November 19: Beaver Moon
Named for the time of year when Native Americans and early settlers would prepare for winter by trapping beavers to provide a supply of warm furs.
also known as: Frost Moon, Freezing Moon, Digging (or Scratching) Moon, Deer Rutting Moon, Whitefish Moon.
December 4: total solar eclipse
This total solar eclipse will only be visible in Antarctica.
December 18: Cold Christmas Moon
also known as: Drift Clearing Moon, Frost Exploding Trees Moon, Hoar Frost Moon (Cree), Moon of the Popping Trees (Oglala), Snow Moon (Haida, Cherokee), Winter Maker Moon (Western Abenaki), Long Night Moon (Mohican), Moon Before Yule.
Meteor Showers in 2021
Active from Dec. 28 to Jan. 12. Peaks around Jan. 2-3.
Active from April 14 to April 30. Peaks around April 21-22.
The Eta Aquariids
Active from April 19 to May 28. Peaks around May 5-6.
The Southern Delta Aquariids
Active from July 12 to Aug. 23. Peaks around July 28-29.
Active from July 17 to Aug. 24. Peaks around Aug. 11-12.
Peaks October 8-9.
Active from Oct. 2 to Nov. 7. Peaks around Oct. 20-21
Active between Nov. 6 and Nov. 30. Peaks around Nov. 16-17.
Active from Dec. 4 to Dec. 20. Peaks around Dec. 13-14.
Active from Dec. 17 to Dec. 26. Peaks around Dec. 21-22.
While you’re outside in the dark viewing these celestial events, consider some of these activities kids can do in the dark.
Most of the alternate full moon names listed above come from The Old Farmer’s Almanac, who pulled the names from a number of places, including Native American, Colonial American, and European sources.