Supermoon eclipse, meteor showers on 2015 skywatching calendar

January 1, 2015 - Supermoon

The prominence of 2015 for skywatchers could be a fluke of a “supermoon” and a late-night full lunar obscure in September. Otherwise, there are copiousness of chances to see apart planets and sharpened stars.

There are also certain to be sightings of a International Space Station over Baltimore, with NASA wanderer Terry Virts, a Columbia native, aboard until May.

Here is what to watch for any month.


•The Quadrantid meteor showering peaks on a night of Jan. 3 into a morning of Jan. 4, producing adult to 40 “shooting stars” per hour. But with a full moon descending on Monday, some of a fainter meteors won’t be visible.

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•Mercury reaches a biggest elongation Jan. 14, that means additional time to mark a closest world to a object in a southwest sky after sunset. It will seem in tandem with Venus until about 6 p.m., with Mars usually above them.

•Comet Lovejoy, also famous as Comet Q2, will be manifest with binoculars, or on clear, moonless nights, presumably with a exposed eye.


•Jupiter is during antithesis Feb. 6, definition Earth is flitting directly between it and a sun. It will be out all night, a brightest it will seem all year. You might be means to see a 4 largest moons with a good span of binoculars.

•Venus and Mars will seem side by side in a west, usually next a waxing crescent moon, after nightfall Feb. 22. According to, they are during their closest given 2008 and until 2017.


•The full moon on Mar 5, famous as a Full Worm Moon, is a year’s smallest, dubbed by some a “micro moon.” That’s since a full moon is occurring within hours of lunar apogee, when a moon is during a farthest indicate from Earth in a elliptical orbit.

•A sum solar obscure occurs Mar 20, though few will see it with their possess eyes — it will follow a route opposite a center of a Atlantic Ocean, over Greenland and a North Pole, to eastern Russia. The object will not nonetheless be adult in a United States, though we can watch it online.

•The vernal equinox occurs during 6:45 p.m. Mar 20, though in Baltimore, a length of illumination will transcend a night’s length 3 days earlier, on St. Patrick’s Day. The object will be adult about 12 hours and 5 seconds on Mar 17.


•The third in a array of 4 lunar eclipses, famous as a tetrad, occurs Apr 4. But not most of it will be manifest from Baltimore since a Earth’s shade will usually cover a tiny partial of a moon by a time it sets during 6:51 a.m., as a object also starts to rise. The best possibility to see a “blood moon” is about 6:45 a.m.

•Earth passes by a route of dirt left by Comet Thatcher any year in late April, and a ensuing Lyrid meteor showering brings 10-20 meteors per hour in a early morning of Earth Day, Apr 22. They are famous as a Lyrids since they seem to emanate from a constellation Lyra.


•Saturn appears during a largest and brightest in late May, as it reaches antithesis May 22 around a same time it is closest to Earth. Even with a tiny telescope, fact of a rings can be seen, though to a exposed eye, it won’t demeanour most opposite than usual, appearing in a southern sky late during night.


•Venus, a brightest world in a night sky, never appears too high in a sky since of a vicinity to a sun, though Jun 6 reaches a biggest elongation. After a object sets usually before 8 p.m., Venus will be splendid in a west for another 3 hours.


•Venus and Jupiter, dual of a brightest night sky objects, will input in a western sky Jul 1. They will be resplendent in tandem for about dual hours after sunset.

•It can’t be seen with a exposed eye, though Pluto is during antithesis Jul 6, usually about a week before NASA’s New Horizons booster reaches a apart dwarf planet. Scientists during a Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory who are handling a goal will be releasing images of Pluto with rare fact and clarity via a year.


•The Perseid meteor shower, deliberate a year’s best in a Northern Hemisphere, peaks a night of Aug. 12 and a early morning of Aug. 13. The meteors come from a waste route of Comet Swift-Tuttle. As many as 60 to 100 of them can strain opposite a sky per hour in a dim sky, and with a new moon occurring Aug. 14, conditions should be good.


•The fourth of a 2014-2015 tetrad of lunar eclipses occurs Sept. 27, and a best could be last. When a Full Harvest Moon comes during 10:50 p.m., a moon will be during a rise of an hour of sum eclipse. Not usually that, though it’s a year’s largest “supermoon” — when a full moon coincides with lunar perigee, a closest indicate to Earth, creation it seem somewhat incomparable and brighter than usual.

•The autumnal equinox arrives during 4:21 a.m. Sept. 23, though a length of day and night aren’t equal until Sept. 26 in Baltimore.


•Mars, Venus and Jupiter put on a uncover this month, with all 3 appearing in a cluster during a second half of a month.

•You can see as many as 20 meteors per hour when Earth passes by a dirt of Halley’s Comet, with a Orionids peaking a night of Oct. 20 and morning of Oct. 21.


•The Leonids are another good meteor shower, producing as many as 20 sharpened stars per hour in a early morning of Nov. 18.


•What is mostly be a year’s best meteor showering comes last, a Geminids on a night of Dec. 13 and morning of Dec. 14. As many as 120 meteors per hour can be manifest during a show’s peak, and a waxing crescent moon means observation conditions could be good.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun

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