Total solar eclipse one of many BIG astronomical events ahead for 2017

Want to know what’s up in space for 2017? Look no further! Here’s a guide to some of the best astronomical events and space launches that are on the calendar for this year!

By Scott Sutherland Meteorologist/Science Writer

Scott’s Top 3 List of What Will Put 2017 on the “Space Map”

There’s plenty going on in 2017 – much more than I could reasonably list here – but here is a very select list of events that I think will “make or break” 2017 for me, as far as space and astronomy goes.

1. SpaceX performs a perfect launch and landing of the Crew Dragon

I am particularly looking forward to this mission. Seeing the Falcon 9 booster come in for a landing at Cape Canaveral in December of 2015 was awe-inspiring, but to watch the Crew Dragon descend on rockets and softly touch down on solid ground will be a jaw-dropping experience!

2. Beautiful visuals of the August 21 Total Solar Eclipse

This one will be particularly satisfying (and it may be pushed up to the #1 spot) if I can personally make the journey to the path of totality. Even if I remain content with personally witnessing a partial solar eclipse (safely, with special solar eclipse glasses, of course!), and simply get the visuals of totality from the internet, this still promises to be pretty spectacular.

3. The launch of TESS

It was hard to choose a third one from everything going on, but I’ve been waiting for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite to launch for years now! Just the thought of it revealing the numerous exoplanets that must be orbiting the stars surrounding us fires up my imagination! I’ll accept this one getting pushed into early 2018, if necessary, but I’ll still be pretty disappointed.

Honourable Mention – GOES-16 “First Light”

As a meteorologist, I am very excited to see the new imagery that we’ll be getting from GOES-16, even if we do have to wait until around November of this year before the satellite data becomes available for forecasters to use.