It’s time to sync your calendar with the solar system and beyond so as to never miss an eclipse, rocket launch, space news or notable astronomical event from now to December 2021.
This calendar was compiled using information from NASA, Space.com, SeaSky, TimeAndDate, Bashewa and others. These dates are subject to change. To avoid disappointment, do not make travel plans according to dates listed below.
Article updated 28 January 2021.
2021 Space Calendar Upcoming events
Scroll down for a list of completed events and additional reading.
28 January Full Moon. January’s full moon is also known as the Wolf Moon because this was the time of year when hungry wolf packs howled outside their camps.
30 January A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch 60 satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink broadband network. This mission will be called Starlink 17.
SpaceX also this month launched its first Starlink mission of 2021, and it a broke a record, too! According to SpaceX, there were “133 commercial and government spacecraft, including CubeSats, microsats, and orbital transfer vehicles” on board this mission, as well as 10 Starlink satellites.
Falcon 9 and 143 spacecraft are vertical on pad 40 ahead the launch of the Transporter-1 mission. Image: SpaceX
A record indeed, as the previous number of spacecraft sent into space with done by Northrop Grumman in 2018.
Also read: High-energy gamma-ray burst disrupts mobile phone reception in South Africa
11 February New Moon.
18 February Mars Perseverance rover, which left Earth in July 2020, will land on the Red Planet
27 February Full Moon. February’s full moon is also known as the Snow Moon because the heaviest snows usually fell during this time of the year.
March 13 – New Moon.
28 March Full Moon. March’s full moon is also known as the the Worm Moon because this was the time of year when the ground would begin to soften and the earthworms would reappear.
12 April New Moon.
22 and 23 April Lyrids Meteor Shower. Averaging about 20 meteors per hour at its peak, it’s produced by dust particles left behind by comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, which was discovered in 1861.
27 April Full Moon, first supermoon of 2021. April’s full moon is also known as the Pink Moon because it marked the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the first spring flowers.
6 and 7 May Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower. An above-average shower averaging around 60 meteors per hour at its peak. We’ll be in the prime seats for this one as most of its activity is seen from the Southern Hemisphere.
May 11 – New Moon.
26 May Full Moon, second supermoon of 2021. May’s full moon is also known as the Flower Moon because this was the time of year when spring flowers appeared in abundance.
26 May Total Lunar Eclipse. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes completely through the Earth’s dark shadow or umbra. Visible from Japan, Australia, western North America and throughout the Pacific Ocean and parts of eastern Asia.
10 June New Moon.
10 June Annular Solar Eclipse. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is too far away from the Earth to completely cover the Sun. Visible in eastern Russia, the Arctic Ocean, western Greenland, and Canada. A partial eclipse will be visible in the northeastern United States, Europe, and most of Russia.
24 June Full Moon, last supermoon of 2021. June’s full moon is also known as the Strawberry Moon because it signalled the time of year to gather ripening fruit. The Strawberry full moon is the last of hree supermoons for 2021.
10 July New Moon.
24 July Full Moon. July’s full moon is also known as the Buck Moon because the male buck deer would begin to grow their new antlers at this time of year.
28 and 29 July Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower. Could potentially produce up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. Starts on 12 July and ends 23 August, with the peak period falling on 28 and 29 August.
8 August New Moon.
12 and 13 August Perseids Meteor Shower. One of the two biggest meteor showers of the year, averaging around 60 meteors per hour at its peak.
22 August Full Moon, Blue Moon. August’s full moon is also known as the Sturgeon Moon because the large sturgeon fish of the Great Lakes and other major lakes were more easily caught at this time of year.
7 September New Moon.
20 September Full Moon. September’s full moon is also known as the Corn Moon because the corn is harvested around this time of year.
6 October New Moon.
7 October Draconids Meteor Shower. Averaging about 10 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust grains left behind by comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner
20 October Full Moon. October’s full moon is also known as the Hunters Moon because at this time of year the leaves are falling and the game is fat and ready to hunt.
21 and 22 October Orionids Meteor Shower. Averaging around 20 meteors per hour at its peak, it is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Halley.
31 October James Webb Space Telescope to launch on this day.
4 November New Moon.
4 and 5 November Taurids Meteor Shower. A long-running minor meteor shower averaging only 5 to 10 meteors per hour. It’s produced by debris left behind by Comet 2P Encke.
17 and 18 November Leonids Meteor Shower. Averaging around 15 meteors per hour at its peak and is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Tempel-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1865.
19 November Full Moon. November’s full moon is also known as the Beaver Moon because this was the time of year to set the beaver traps before the swamps and rivers froze.
19 November Partial Lunar Eclipse. This eclipse will be visible throughout most of eastern Russia, Japan, the Pacific Ocean, North America, Mexico, Central America, and parts of western South America.
4 December New Moon.
4 December Total Solar Eclipse. A total solar eclipse will be visible only from Antarctica and the southern Atlantic Ocean. A partial eclipse will bee visible throughout much of South Africa.
13 and 14 December Geminids Meteor Shower. One of the best meteor showers, averaging around 120 multicoloured meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon, which was discovered in 1982.
19 December Full Moon. December’s full moon is also known as the Cold Moon because this is the time of year when the cold winter air settles in and the nights become long and dark.
21 and 22 December Ursids Meteor Shower. A minor meteor shower averaging around 5 to 10 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Tuttle, which was first discovered in 1790.
- 13 January New Moon. Even though the Moon will be on the same side of the Earth as the Sun, it won’t be visible in the night sky.
- 17 January NASA to fire test for the Green Run for the Artemis Programme.
If you’ve made it all the way down here, you can now read about NASAs plans for 2021.