Look to the skies: You won't want to miss these incredible celestial events in 2017

2017 celestial events 50395182  infinite space background with silhouette of telescope
Winter’s chill is gone, and spring has arrived. Nights are warmer, too — great for doing a little stargazing. So what should you look for? We’ve put together this handy list so you don’t miss the best celestial events for the rest of this year. We’ve got meteor showers, total solar eclipses, and close planetary pairings. Let’s get started!

April 29 – International Astronomy Day

what is fermi paradox 30577768  illustration of a telescope watching the wilky way

Our first celestial event is a little more terrestrial in nature. International Astronomy Day is celebrated twice a year in the spring and fall. The first will be held on April 29, with the fall version on September 30. Sponsored by the Astronomical League, the effort aims to bring a host of astronomy-related events on a single day. Museums, planetariums, and observatories participate, and you can find an event near you by checking the Astronomical League’s website.

August 12/13 – Perseids Meteor Shower


Last year’s Perseids generated quite a bit of hype, and it pretty much lived up to expectations with peak rates of about 150-200 meteors per hour in spots. 2017 is likely to be a little bit more tame, as we once again pass through the dust trail left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle. Even so, on an average year, 60 meteors per hour is easy to do, so it should still be quite the show. The bad news? It’s coming slightly before the New Moon, so some of the fainter meteors will be blocked out.

August 21 – Total Solar Eclipse

2017 celestial events total solar eclipse in austraila

2017’s signature celestial event is the total solar eclipse of August 21, nicknamed the “Great American Solar Eclipse.” It gets its name from the prime track across the country around midday from Oregon to South Carolina. Every location in the lower 48 will see the sun at least 50% covered, with areas of totality seeing complete darkness for nearly 2 1/2 minutes! If you miss this, you’ll have to wait another seven years. Learn more about the event on Digital Trends’ Eclipse roundup here.

December 3 – Supermoon

biggest supermoon november 14 2016 nasa 54090076 l
Laura Ballard/123RF

Nothing got people more excited in 2016 than all those Supermoons, caused by two events happening at the same time: a New Moon and the moon at perigee (closest to earth). This only happens once in 2017, and during the last full moon of the year. It won’t be as large as last year’s super Supermoon, but it will appear much larger and brighter than normal.

December 13/14 – Geminids Meteor Shower

Orionid Meteor Shower
John Flannery | Flickr

While the Perseids wow us — from time to time — with bigger events, its the Geminids Meteor Shower that’s consistently good. Up to 120 meteors per hour can be seen at its peak, and even in less than prime conditions (like this year’s waning crescent moon) you’ll still see quite a few. We suggest finding a dark spot, and looking toward the constellation Gemini to catch the show.


Chinese court upholds Qualcomm's complaint that Apple infringed on two patents

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Emerging Tech

We’re going to the Red Planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

SpaceX isn't the only organization pining to visit the Red Planet. Here's a detailed list of all operational and planned missions to Mars, along with explanations of their objectives, spacecraft details, and mission proposals.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.

Take to the skies with these 5 drones on sale for under $50

On the hunt for some cool tech for under $50? We've rounded up 5 drones under $50 that you can still get before Christmas. These models are great for kids, adults, and anyone just getting started with drones.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Emerging Tech

This unusual nature-inspired robot is equally at home on land or in the water

This intriguing, nature-inspired robot may look unusual, but it's impressively capable of moving on both land and water without problem. Heck, it can even travel on ice if necessary.
Emerging Tech

This cryptocurrency wallet for kids isn’t nearly as stupid as it sounds

So you’ve taught your 6-year-old child to read, write, and play nice with others. What’s next? Give them a base understanding of cryptocurrency, of course. This Kickstarter aims to help.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Emerging Tech

Virgin Galactic’s latest test flight takes it to the edge of space

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic has successfully carried out its fourth powered flight in Mojave, California. It was the company's most ambitious test flight yet -- and bodes well for the future.
Emerging Tech

There’s a giant EMP blaster in New Mexico. Don’t worry, it’s here to protect us

An electromagnetic pulse has the potential to disable virtually all electronics within a large area. To help protect against such a threat is a new, friendly EMP emitter. Here's how it works.