Keep Your Eyes On the Skies in 2024

There's something you can do about this total eclipse of the sun: watch it on April 8! But that's not the only astronomical excitement this year.


The year 2024 promises to be out of this world. From dazzling meteor showers to a breathtaking total solar eclipse and exciting launches to moons around Mars and Jupiter, there’s something for everyone. Let’s break down the highlights:

Shimmering meteor showers

While 2024 kicks off with the short-lived Quadrantid meteor shower, don’t worry — the celestial show just gets better. The Perseids in August are always a crowd-pleaser, and clear summer nights make them extra enjoyable.

According to Dr. Peter Brown, Canada Research Chair in meteor astronomy at Western University, in an interview with CBC: “The Perseids have better lunar conditions, and this year there are several old trails which may be encountered… so the night of [August] 11-12 might be particularly interesting to follow.”

And come December, the Geminids will light up the winter sky. Known for their bright, long-lasting streaks, these meteors will definitely be worth bundling up for.

A once-in-a-generation total solar eclipse

On April 8, eastern Canada will be the place to be for a rare and awe-inspiring spectacle — a total solar eclipse.

As the moon completely blocks the sun, day will briefly turn to night.

“A total eclipse of the sun is the most awe-inspiring and sublime astronomical event visible to the naked eye,” says Fred Espenak, a retired NASA astronomer, to CBC.

He also says that, “It is something everyone should see at least once in their life”.

The total eclipse will not be visible from Toronto — the nation’s largest city will only get to see a partial solar eclipse. Though still amazing, the 1% of sunlight will be decently bright.

Take a look at which Canadian cities and locations will experience this total versus partial solar eclipse, and then mark your calendars and grab those special eclipse glasses. This is definitely one you won’t want to miss.

Journeying to outer space

This is also the year space agencies get serious about moons. Japan is targeting Mars’ two tiny moons, Phobos and Deimos, with a mission to solve a longstanding mystery: are they captured asteroids or bits of Mars itself? And NASA’s Europa Clipper will head to Jupiter’s ocean-filled moon Europa. This spacecraft will search for signs of the ingredients necessary for life, potentially fuelling the discovery of extraterrestrial neighbours.

In 2024, we’ll also see Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen make history as the first Canadian to orbit the moon during the Artemis II mission.

Speaking about this incredible opportunity in an interview with CBC, Hansen says “it is glorious.” This mission is a crucial step towards returning humans to the lunar surface for the first time in over 50 years.


Other noteworthy space events to keep an eye on are China’s Chang’e 6 mission to the far side of the moon, the follow-up Hera mission to investigate the aftermath of the DART asteroid impact, and continued development of the SpaceX Starship — a behemoth of a spacecraft that could change space travel forever.

This is shaping up to be an extraordinary year for space exploration and astronomical wonders. So, grab your binoculars, a telescope if you have one, and get ready for a year where looking up is bound to be spectacular.

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Adam is a passionate advocate for women's and infants' health. With a Master of Science and a current Ph.D. from the University of Toronto's Department of Physiology, he has dedicated his academic and professional career to understanding and improving health outcomes for women and newborns. Adam's research is driven by a deep commitment to empowering women through education and by promoting the incredible advances in women's health care. As a proud Canadian, he is eager to shine a light on the contributions and progress made in his home country, aiming to inspire and contribute to a healthier future for all women and their families.