Nothing sparks existential wonder quite like a spectacular night sky. And on certain nights, if you can get to the right place at the right time, you just might capture a rare celestial event—such as a Supermoon of epic proportions or the glittering light trails of a meteor shower.
Starry skyscapes also account for some of the most popular clips in our library, so we put together a guide to outer space events for photographers and filmmakers. Whether you’re looking to develop a stellar portfolio or spot proof of extraterrestrial life, these are the dates to mark on your calendar.
Total Eclipse of the Sun
How does Spring Break in Southeast Asia sound? If you happen to find yourself in Indonesia from March 8th to 9th, make sure to film the moon as it passes directly between the Earth and the Sun, blacking out all but its fiery edge. In some parts of Alaska and Hawaii, a partial eclipse will also be visible.
Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon
March is a busy month for the moon. Shortly after the solar eclipse, it will swing around to the opposite side of its orbit and brush up against Earth’s shadow. This will cause a partial darkening of the moon, which will appear to those living on the West Coast of North America moments before moonset.
A “Blue Moon” with Mars
Every once in a blue moon, you can shoot a so-called “blue moon.” In reality, it’s not all that blue—maybe a little extra luminescent, according to some. This will be the third of four moons in one season, during which usually only three occur. As a bonus, Mars will be glowing right below the moon.
The Perseid Meteor Shower
You can make up to 90 wishes an hour while these “shooting stars” pass by. The Perseids are reliably among the best meteor showers each year, and in 2016 these meteors should shine particularly bright. They’ll start raining down well after the quarter moon sets.
This November, the moon will pass closer to the Earth than it has since January 1948. As a result, it will appear much larger than usual—creating what’s known as a “supermoon.” Provided the clouds stay at bay, this supermoon should be a colossal sight to behold around the world.
The Geminid Meteor Shower
The Geminid shower is the favorite among meteor experts for its reliability and radiance. Unfortunately, this year it coincides with a full moon—meaning the falling meteors are likely to be dimmed by the glowing moon. The most brilliant meteors may still make an appearance, however, and any shot encompassing both a full moon and a shooting star would be a surefire win.
If you don’t have time to capture your own celestial footage, you can save yourself the trouble and download starry clips from VideoBlocks.
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