January 02, 2016 - 8:00 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Every year we are treated to a handful of meteor showers, full moons and a few showings of northern lights, but 2015 offered up several rare occurrences to delight night sky watchers.
The year started with a meteor shower and Comet Lovejoy making an appearance and was quickly followed by regular auroras through the spring. The dancing lights brought professional and amateur photographers out in full force throughout the year, as they tried to capture the perfect northern lights shot.
Easter weekend presented the first of two total lunar eclipses in 2015, the second happening in September as a rare super moon lunar eclipse. The event was especially rare because of how close the Moon was to Earth when the eclipse happened, making it appear even larger than it normally does.
Meteor showers also took place in May, July, August, October, November and again in December, with October being the busiest month for the ‘shooting stars’.
The year capped off with yet another rare occurrence, a Christmas full moon. The last time a full moon happened on Christmas Day was in 1977 and the next one will not happen until 2034, according to NASA experts.
Among the spectacular sky events expected in 2016 is a total solar eclipse. Unfortunately that event, which takes place March 8, will only be seen along a narrow path in the Southern Hemisphere.
A partial lunar eclipse is expected to be seen in our region on March 23 and a full blue moon is in the calendar for May 21. A full super moon will take place Oct. 16, Nov. 14 and Dec. 14.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016