Watch columnist Joe Rao talk upcoming lunar eclipse and meteor outburst

A meteor streaks across the night sky in Bazhou, Xinjiang Province, China, in the early morning of December 14, 2021.
A meteor streaks across the night sky in Bazhou, Xinjiang Province, China, in the early morning of December 14, 2021. (Image credit: Xue Bing / Costfoto/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

From now through May 23, long-time Night Sky columnist, Joe Rao, will be presenting virtual online lectures via Zoom, about two main celestial events that will occur in May: The total eclipse of the moon on May 15-16 and a potential outburst of meteors on May 30-31. 

Each presentation will last one hour, followed by a 15-minute Q&A session with the audience.

The presentations are free of charge, but you'll need to register in advance in order to receive a Zoom invitation.   

Related: See the fiery Blood Moon rise in a total lunar eclipse in May's must-see skywatching event

Commenting on Joe's latest lecture at New York’s Hayden Planetarium, famous astrophysicist and the director at Hayden Neil deGrasse Tyson said: "I can count on Joe for a level of cosmic expertise that I cannot get anywhere else. It flows from his encyclopedic knowledge of eclipses past and present, comets that come and go, meteor showers, stars and constellation lore, planets and their conjunctions, as well as countless and other obscure but fascinating phenomena that grace our skies." 

We present here a listing of Joe's talks, five dealing with the lunar eclipse and eight with the meteor shower. "I look forward to seeing many of our faithful readers attend these talks," Joe said. "I always try to make them interesting as well as entertaining!"    

These presentations are sponsored by libraries in the New York area, as well astronomical societies and facilities.  


Tuesday, May 10 at 7 p.m.
Sachem Public Library 

Wednesday, May 11 at 6:30 p.m.
Washington Township Public Library 

Thursday, May 12 at 7 p.m.
Jericho Public Library

Friday, May 13 at 6 p.m.
North Castle Public Library


Friday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Westchester Amateur Astronomers

Monday, May 16 at 7 p.m.
Port Jefferson Free Library

Tuesday, May 17 at 7 p.m.
Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Library 

Wednesday, May 18 at 6 p.m.
Blauvelt Free Library 

Thursday, May 19 at 6 p.m.
The Farmington (CT) Libraries 

Friday, May 20 at 7 p.m.
Sachem Public Library 

Monday, May 23 at 7 p.m.
Hamptons Observatory 

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Joe Rao
Skywatching Columnist

Joe Rao is's skywatching columnist, as well as a veteran meteorologist and eclipse chaser who also serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York's Hayden Planetarium. He writes about astronomy for Natural History magazine, the Farmers' Almanac and other publications. Joe is an 8-time Emmy-nominated meteorologist who served the Putnam Valley region of New York for over 21 years. You can find him on Twitter and YouTube tracking lunar and solar eclipses, meteor showers and more. To find out Joe's latest project, visit him on Twitter.