When the night has come.... And the land is dark,... And the moon.... is the only light we'll see....
No, I won't be afraid.... No, I won't be afraid.... Just long.... as you stand.... stand by me
Egypt's Western Desert is the perfect place for stargazing as the humidity is non-existent and light pollution does not exist. The surreal shapes of the white chalk inselbergs, the steep cliffs and valleys, and the total absence of sound makes people feel as though they were on a completely different planet, thus adding to the pleasure of watching the heavens unfold. Below is a list of important astronomical dates beginning with December 2014 and continuing through 2015 until the last month of the year. After selecting the celestial event you wish to view, please go to our Desert Safari pages and select the tour that best suits your needs.
stargazing desert safaris
ASTRONOMICAL EVENTS CALENDAR
Events in blue font are amazing but not intense. Events in red font are must–see shows.
13 DECEMBER 2014 Geminids Meteor Shower Peak.The Geminids is by far one of the best showers as its hourly meteor content continues to increase to 100 to 120 meteors per hour. The Gemiminids was first sighted in 1862 within the constellation Gemini. Phaethon 3200 is the comet that created the Geminids, but Phaethon is now extinct and classified as an atseroid. Moonrise: 23:50 pm; Moonset: 11:53 am.
21 DECEMBER 2014 Winter Solstice. This is a great time to be at the Karnak temple complex and watch the sun rise through all of the main portals from west to east. Then continue a safari to either the Kharga Oasis, or Wadi Gamal National Park on Egypt's mainland Red Sea just south of Marsa Alam. The best scuba diving or snorkeling in Egypt can be done in this area.
3 JANUARY 2015 Quadrantids Meteor Shower Peak. This meteor shower can be as intense as the Persids or Geminids, but some sometimes its peak lasts for only a few hours. The parent of this shower, the Great Comet of 1491, passes very close to Earth. Once every 60 years the Quadrantids produces hundreds of meteors per hour. Moonrise: 15:47 pm; Moonset: 6:20 am.
6 FEBRUARY 2015 Jupiter at Opposition. On this night Jupiter will be at its closest point to earth, and with binoculars or a telescope, you can easily see Jupiter's moons and the planet's amazing Great Red Spot (a 300+ year old storm). Moonrise: 20:28 pm; Moonset: 8:26 am.
22 FEBRUARY 2015 Conjunction of Venus and Mars. The plantes Venus and Mars will be only 1/2 degree apart from each other, with both appearing just after sunset on the western horizon. Such an event ocurs only over great time intervals. Moonrise: 9:00 am; Moonset: 22:55 pm.
20 MARCH 2015 Vernal Equinox. This is a great day to be at the Giza pyramids when the sunrises as you can watch the sun god, Ra, make its first appearance and aligning with the south side of the Sphinx and Khafre's pyramid at Giza. On 24 March, the moon is New, so this is a great time for desert stargazing.
22 APRIL 2015 Lyrids Meteor Shower Peak. The first to record sighting the Lyrids shower was a Chinese astronomer in 687 BC. The Lyrids is classified as an average shoer, but when conditions are correct, it can produce hundreds of meteors per hour. It is an interesting event to watch as sometimes you can even see the dust trails from the meteors. Moonrise: 9:16 am; Moonset: 00:36 am.
5 MAY 2015 Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower Peak. This meteor shower was formed from the residue of Halley's comet, and its residue produces about 60 meteors per hour. Other events also occurred yesterday and today including the original Beltane Festival, and the fertility Festival to the ancient Egyptian god of fertility, Min.
23 MAY 2015 Saturn at Opposition. Tonight Saturn will be at its closest point to earth, and its face fully illuminated by the sun. With a small or medium sized telescope, you can even see Saturn's rings. As the New Moon occurred just 5 days previous, lighting conditions will be great.
21 JUNE 2015 New Moon. New Moons are the best times to view the galaxies and star clusters. New Moons this year occur on: 20 January,18 February, 20 March, 18 April, 18 May, 16 June, 16 July, 14 August, 13 September, 13 October, 11 November, and 11 December.
28 JULY 2015 Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower Peak. This is an average shower producing about 20 meteors per hour.
12 AUGUST 2015 Perseids Meteor Shower Peak. The Perseids is one of the best showers of the year, throwing from 60 to 120 meteorites per hour. The Perseids will occur just 2 days before the New Moon so the sky should be dark and excellent for meteor-gazing.
28 SEPTEMBER 2015 Lunar eclipse during the Harvest Moon. This lunar eclipse should be spectacular as the Harvest Moon is the largest of the year. As during lunar eclipses the moon turns a blood red color, this phenomenon should be unique. Sunset: 17:26; Moonrise: 17:16.
21 OCTOBER 2015 Orionids Meteor Shower Peak. The Orionids shower is an average one, producing about 20 meteors per hour. This Meteor shower was created by Halley's comet, which was first spotted in ancient times. As the moon sets at midnight, the best time to view this show will be in the early hours of 22 October.
17 NOVEMBER 2015 Leonids Meteor Shower Peak. The Leonids, is an average shower, and viewing after the moon sets (midnight) will be the prime time.
13 DECEMBER 2015 Geminids Meteor Shower Peak. Many believe that this shower is the king of all meteor showers, creating up to 120 meteors per hour As the New Mooon occurred just 2 days earlier, this year's Geminids should be fantastic.
22 DECEMBER 2015 Winter Solstice. For this solstice the best place to be is Karnak, watching the sunrise from Karnak's western gate as it will appear framed by it. The ancient Egyptian are believed to have aligned Karnak to the winter solstice.
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