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Meteors, comets and planets kick off new year

The Comet Lovejoy, as seen from the Space Station.
Image Credit: NASA
January 02, 2015 - 1:00 PM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Night owls and sky lovers get prepared to celebrate the new year in style, between the Comet Lovejoy and the Quadrantid meteor shower will both be visible this weekend.

The Quadrantid meteor shower will peak early in the morning of Saturday, Jan. 3, but a nearly full moon and forecasted cloud cover will likely make for poor viewing. The shower is one of the better ones, with a peak of up to 120 meteors per hour and the best meteors are usually visible after midnight.

On Sunday a full moon will appear but more importantly the Earth will be at its closest point on its orbit to the Sun. This will make it appear slightly larger than when it is at its furthest point.

Comet Lovejoy is also making an appearance over the next several weeks. It has already been spotted by some skywatchers with their binoculars and should be visible to the naked eye in good sky conditions. It should be most visible the two weeks following Jan. 7, when the moon is not as bright and the comet is closest to Earth.

Jan. 7 will also be the point when the moon will pass close to Jupiter and then two nights later Venus and Mercury will appear close to each other just after sunset.

Hoping to capture a few pictures while you're out watching the night sky? Check out our tips to make the most of your night out.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

Credit: Phil Hart
Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy 28th December 2014

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd
Tags: Night sky

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