2015 TOP STORIES: Lunar eclipses, meteor showers and northern lights over the Southern Interior

The northern lights over Barriere on March 17, 2015.
Image Credit: Ellen Monteith

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.

The northern lights over Kamloops Thursday, April 16.
The northern lights over Kamloops Thursday, April 16.

Image Credit: Ryan Fisher Nature Photographer

A six image stitch of the northern lights reflecting on Brunell Lake near Oliver B.C.
A six image stitch of the northern lights reflecting on Brunell Lake near Oliver B.C.
Image Credit: Stephen Hancock Photography

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. 



flagpole Posted by Ken Tiessen on Sunday, September 27, 2015



The blood moon from this evening taken on Kelowna Mountain. Posted by Glen Eldstrom on Sunday, September 27, 2015

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.

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

Western tent caterpillar
Why there were so many caterpillars in the North Okanagan this spring
NORTH OKANAGAN - Noticed a lot of caterpillars this year? You’re not alone. In some parts of the North Okanagan, thousands of caterpillars were seen blanketing roads and dropping from trees in late May and early June. Dr. Amanda

Top News