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2012 Skywatching Events Guide &... - StumbleUpon

This story was updated on Jan. 2. As the year 2011 comes to a close, some might wonder what is looming sky-wise for 2012? What celestial events might we look forward to seeing? I've selected what I consider to be the top 12 "skylights" for this coming year, and list them here in chronological order. Hopefully your local weather will cooperate on most, if not all, of these dates. Jan. 4: Quadrantid meteor shower peaks This meteor shower reaches its peak in the predawn hours of Jan. 4 for eastern North America. From the eastern half of North America, a single observer might count on seeing as many as 50-to-100 "Quads" in a single hour. The first major meteor shower of 2012 takes place on the night of Tuesday, Jan. 3 and the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 4. Feb. 20 to March 12: Best evening apparition of Mercury In February and March, the "elusive" innermost planet Mercury moves far enough from the glare of the sun to be readily visible soon after sunset. March 3: Mars arrives at opposition Related: