Sky Gazing in 2015

Christine Mitchell Adams February 25, 2015

Image by Steven Smith of The Silent Pursuit

One of the (many) reasons we love living and working in Vermont is the incredibly clear night sky. We wouldn't call ourselves astronomers, but we’re definitely sky watching enthusiasts. So this year we got out our calendars and marked the dates for the best sky watching events of 2015. Here's what we’ll be staying up late for this year. Maybe we’ll see you out there - we'll bring the blankets if you bring the s'mores!

April 4: During this Total Lunar Eclipse the moon will spend almost nine and a half hours in what is called the umbral phase. For us here on earth, that means it will be a total eclipse for just under five minutes.

May 23: This will be the best night of the year to view Saturn because it will be reflecting a lot of sunlight during its closest approach to earth. With a medium telescope (about 5-8 inches) you’ll be able to see Saturn’s rings and some of its largest and brightest moons!

July 28-29: The Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower is the remnant of two comets, Marsden and Kracht. It peaks overnight on the 28th. Showers will appear to be coming from constellation Aquarius.

August 12-13: The Perseids Meteor Shower is from the Swift-Tuttle comet. The shower will have best visibility overnight on the 12th. With a new moon on the 14th, the skies will be dark making this year’s a show for the books. Showers will appear to be coming from constellation Perseus.

September 28: The Total Lunar Eclipse tetrad of 2014/2015 will conclude on the night of the 28th. It will last for over an hour and be visible from many parts of the world.

October 21-22: The Orionids Meteor Shower is made up from the remnants of the famous Halley’s Comet. The peak for the shower will be overnight on the 21st. It will appear to be originating from the constellation Orion.

November 17-18: Remnants of comet Tempel-Tuttle create the Leonids Meteor Shower. It peaks overnight on the 17th. Look to constellation Leo as the shower will appear to originate from there.

December 13-14: A favorite with skywatchers, the Geminids Meteor Shower is from the remnants of a small asteroid named 3200 Phaethon. It's an extra special show as the meteors will appear multicolored! Look towards the constellation Gemini after midnight on the 13th for the best view. 

Being in Vermont, we've kept track of events that will be best viewed from mid-latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. 


IFL Science

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