January 18, 2020

Review: Astronomical Calendars for 2012.

Two of the best!

It’s that time of year again; time for a roundup of astronomical calendars for the coming year, the perfect gift for that special space-obsessed someone. Equipped with a good wall calendar, you and yours never need miss that obscure asteroid occultation or opposition ever again. There are plenty are out there, but here is the Astroguyz-approved pick of the litter for 2012;

RASC Calendar: Our favorite of the crop, The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s yearly Observer’s Calendar is an excellent and well-priced product. The latitudes and timings for events are “Canada-centric,” but I can attest that I’ve been using the 2011 edition from Astroguyz HQ here in Florida to great success… and yes, there are time corrections in the back.  Another big plus is that all of the photos are taken by Canadian amateur astronomers, from simple star trails and Moon pics to deep sky images that would be the envy of professional instruments. The detail included is exacting, and we’ve managed to catch a few unique events such as Jovian double moon transits and sightings of the Lunar Straight Wall using this calendar!

Vatican Calendar: Did you know that the Vatican has observatories? Did you know that those observatories based in Arizona and Italy also produce a yearly calendar? This calendar has a very clean and finished look, and features a mix of history, anniversaries and the top astronomical events of the year. Like the RASC calendar, the Vatican calendar also features some top-notch astrophotography…this one would hang well in that private observatory or abode of anyone who is curious about the universe.

The Sky & Telescope Calendar: The most sought-after of calendars in all of astronomy-dom, Guy Ottewell’s yearly astronomical calendar is an atlas-sized compilation and is so popular among hard-core enthusiasts that folks are probably pre-ordering the 2013 edition as we speak. Available exclusively through Sky & Telescope magazine’s online store, the calendar is not only an ultimate clearing house of astronomical data, but a work of art. Seriously; they’re indispensable and not just your run of the mill “phases of the Moon” calendar. Give it as a gift and there’s a better-than-normal chance that the astronomically obsessed will name their next born in your honor. Thought; S & T would do well to offer this calendar as a cool “perk” to their subscribers, both old school and digital!

Each month of the calendar is showcased with star-charts, ephemeris, (ephemera? ephemerides?) and copious amounts of astronomical lore. Our favorite is the companion tables displaying predicted comet apparitions and asteroid, lunar, and planetary occultations worldwide. This calendar is up there in its legendary status among observers, along with Burnham’s Celestial Handbook and Uranometria. You would need (and we frequently do!) to comb several desperate websites to glean all of the information contained all within these vaunted pages… when a digital interactive Kindle edition of this calendar comes out, us astronomy bloggers may be out of a job!

NASA Calendar: Is space travel more your thing? NASA’s 2012 calendar is a sure bet; they’ve been at that space-thing for a long time. Well priced, you don’t have to make the pilgrimage to the Kennedy Space Center to nab one; you can also purchase ‘em from their online store. Interestingly, NASA doesn’t seem to have the apocalypse scheduled for anytime in 2012; that’s re-assuring, as you’d think they’d know…Also, keep an eye out for the free 2012 downloadable calendar for the International Space Station; it’s been offered for several years running, and features 12 months of Low Earth Orbit goodness!

Sky Watchers 2012: This calendar line from Sky Maps comes recommended for lone observers and educators alike. The charts included cover a good swath of the northern hemisphere and relevant latitudes. Hey, it’s a tough minefield to navigate out there for the astronomically unaware; we’ve all received an accidental astrology calendar from that well meaning friend or relative. Sky Watchers 2012 won’t steer you wrong.    

A Periodic Table…Calendar? Finally, in our department of the strange and curious, why not decorate that classroom, office, or secret evil lair/laboratory with a periodic table calendar from Educational Innovations. Just think, celebrate fascinating chemical facts, plus an element every month! You’ll wish the year was 103 months long!


  1. [...] someone. Fans of this space will remember our epic reviews of astronomy-themed calendars in 2012 & [...]

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