Missions, launches, celestial events and more

Welcome to the second half of 2020! It’s time to sync your calendar with the solar system and beyond so as to never miss an eclipse, rocket launch, space news or notable astronomical event from now to December

This calendar was compiled using information from NASA,, SeaSky, TimeAndDate, Bashewa and others. These dates are subject to change. To avoid disappointment, do not make travel plans according to dates listed below.

Upcoming Space Events

Scroll down for a list of completed events and additional reading.


3 August: August’s full moon, also known as Sturgeon Moon, occurs on this day.

6 August: SpaceX Starship prototype completes first successful hop test.

11 to 12 August: The Perseid meteor shower peaks. 

17 August: An Arianespace Vega rocket will launch on the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) proof-of-concept mission carrying 42 microsatellites, nanosatellites and cubesats.

18 August:  A black moon occurs on this day. The third new moon in a season with four new moons is known as a “black moon.” However, the other definition for a black moon is the second new moon in a single calendar month.

31 August: Alpha Aurigid meteor shower peaks.

Other noteworthy events:


1 September: Asteroid 2011 ES4 will pass by Earth at a distance 75 000 kilometers.

2 September: September’s full moon, also known as the Harvest Moon, occurs at 7:22 SAST. 

22 September: Happy Equinox! It’s the first day of Spring in the Southern Hemisphere and the first day of autumn for the folks up North.  


1 October: October’s full moon, known as the Hunter’s Moon, occurs at 23:05 SAST. 

2 October: Capricornid meteor shower peaks.

4 to 10 October: Happy World Space Week!

7 to 8 October: The Draconid meteor shower peaks.

16 October: The BepiColombo orbiter will pass by Venus.

21 to 22 October: The Orionid meteor shower peaks.

31 October: October has two full moons! Prepare yourselves for a Blue Moon on Halloween. The moon will reach full phase at 16:49 SAST.


11 to 12 November: The Northern and Southern Taurid meteor shower peaks. 

16 to 17 November: The Leonid meteor shower peaks. 

21 November: The Alpha Monocerotid meteor shower peaks.

29 to 30 November: A penumbral lunar eclipse will last for about 4 hours and 20 minutes. Unfortunately, it will not be visible from Africa. For this eclipse, Americas, Australia and Asia are in the front seats.  

30 November: November’s full moon, also known as the Beaver Moon, occurs at 11:30 SAST.


13 to 14 December: The Geminid meteor shower peaks. 

14 December: The only total solar eclipse of 2020 will cross through the southern tip of South America. Sorry, fellow sky-watchers, it won’t be visible from Africa.

21 December: Today marks the first day of summer in the Southern Hemisphere and the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

21 to 22 December: The Ursid meteor shower peaks.

25 December: The Comae Berenicid meteor shower peaks.

29 December: December’s full moon, also known as the Cold Moon, occurs at 5:28 SAST.

Completed events:



  • 9 February: The European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA launch the Solar Orbiter to investigate the sun’s poles. The Parker Polar Probe can’t see everything.
  • 9 February: February’s full moon, also known as the Full Snow Moon, occurs at 9:33 SAST.
  • 9 February: Alpha Centaurid meteor shower peaks.
  • 17 February: Juno flies over Jupiter again, six more flyby’s to take place in 2020. I’m personally looking forward to this, thanks to my years-long obsession with Jupiter.


  • 1 March: SpaceX will launch it’s Falcon 9 rocket for a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) using the Dragon CRS-20 craft.
  • 9 March 9: Super Worm Moon: March’s full moon, also known as the Worm Moon, coincides with a supermoon this year.
  • 14 March: Eta Virginid meteor shower peaks.
  • 19 March: This day marks the first day of autumn on the Southern Hemisphere, and the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.


  • 5 April: Kappa Serpentid meteor shower peaks.
  • 7 April: Super Pink Moon: The full moon of April, also known as the Pink Moon, coincides with a supermoon.
  • 13 April: BepiColombo orbiter, from a joint mission between ESA and Japan’s space agency JAXA, will pass by Earth. BepiColombo was launched in October 2018.
  • 21 to 22 April: The Lyrid meteor shower peaks.
  • 22 April Happy Earth Day!
  • 23 April: pi-Puppid meteor shower peaks.
  • 28 April: The “evening star” Venus will reach its greatest brightness of the year on 28 April.
  • Also happening in April: The crew of Expedition 63 will launch to the International Space Station.


Also read: Meet Bob and Doug, best friends on historic SpaceX-NASA mission


Also read: Asteroid watch: Four ‘Near-Earth Objects’ to pass by in June

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