A few days ago a page I follow on Facebook posted a great pic highlighting the major Astronomical events of 2015 and asked people to share with friends and family.
I thought it was pretty cool so I’m happy to oblige but before I posted I did have to look up what some of this stuff means. In case you’re like me:
Conjunction (being in conjuncture) is when two objects in the sky look like they are passing close to each other in their orbit. In actuality they aren’t really that close, they’re light years away from each other in some cases, but because of how we see them in the sky they look close and that can be interesting to see.
Opposition is when an object is at the opposite end of the sky. In the case of most objects, including planets, this means opposite the sun and often closer than usual to earth in it’s orbit. The effect of that is the planet gets bigger and brighter in the sky. As an example, when the moon is full it is in opposition to the sun. If it is exactly in opposition then the earth gets in the way of the sun and moon and there’s a lunar eclipse.
In 2015 the smallest full moon of the year will be on March 5th, called a micro moon. The largest full moon of the year will be on September 28th but it will also be in the process of a lunar eclipse, wicked cool!
Here’s a little more detail from Scott Dance at the Baltimore Sun, who added some descriptors for each event and meteor shower dates as well.