June 2024

Thursday June 20

All Day
The summer solstice.

It’s the scientific start to summer in the Northern Hemisphere, when this half of the world tilts toward the sun. Read more about the importance of the solstice for life on Earth.

July 2024

Friday July 5

All Day
Earth is at its farthest point from the sun.

Even as the Northern Hemisphere experiences the heat of summer, our planet is at aphelion, the farthest it will get from the sun during its elliptical orbit. Read more about aphelion, and what it’s like on other worlds in our solar system.

Tuesday July 9

All Day
The European Space Agency could attempt the first launch of the Ariane 6 rocket.

Europe’s final Ariane 5 rocket completed its last mission in July 2023, and problems with other rockets have left the continent’s space program reliant on SpaceX and others for trips to space. The Ariane 6 rocket could lift off on a demonstration flight that aims to restore Europe’s ability to reach space on its own after a series of delays. Other customers are also waiting to fly on the rocket. 

Tuesday July 30

All Day
Two meteor showers will reach their peaks on the same night.

Two meteor showers peak at the end of July: the Southern Delta Aquarids, best seen in the Southern Hemisphere in the constellation Aquarius, and the Alpha Capricornids, which are visible from both hemispheres in Capricorn.

With the moon around 40 percent full, the already-faint Southern Delta Aquarids, sometimes spelled Aquariids, may be difficult to see. The Alpha Capricornids will be bright, but they rarely create more than five meteors an hour. Here’s what you need to know about watching meteor showers.

August 2024

Sunday August 11Monday August 12

The Perseid meteor shower will reach its peak.

A favorite among skywatchers, the Perseids are one of the strongest showers each year, with as many as 100 long, colorful streaks an hour.

It is a show best viewed from the Northern Hemisphere. This year, observers may have to compete with light from the moon, which will be nearly half full on the night the Perseids peak. Here’s what you need to know about watching meteor showers.

Event details and information on how to add events to your personal calendar can be found on the New York Times website.