Astronomy Highlights for 2008

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105665main_saturn1b105665main_saturn1bA couple items that should be added to the expanding Geekdad Gift Guide are a star map and some optics because 2008 is shaping up to be another great year for staring into space.

Viewing kicks off quickly with one of the best showings of Mars in several years. The best views of the red planet will peak right around Christmas and will be visible all night.

You’ll want to make sure to see Saturn this year. In 2009, the ringed planet will turn on its axis, making its rings flat and not visible to us for some time. The end of February will be one of the best times for viewing Saturn this year.

Late 2008 brings a return of the dwarf planet Ceres. Throw in some great meteor showers and comets and 2008 should have some great moments. And the best part is that a good deal of these sights can be seen without any expensive equipment. Many of 2008′s sights can be seen with a pair of decent binoculars. Astronomy’s a great hobby – just go outside and look up!

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