Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 Solar System Bests!

Every year since 2008 I have assembled my own images in a mashup format.  Inspired by +Mike Salway  ( I have tried to pick the best images I took of planets during the calendar year.  A couple of years ago I got into comets and asteroids and have been trying to contribute to the Minor Planet Center's research (  My previous best of's are all here:

This year found a drop off in imaging from 71 nights in 2014 to 33 in 2015.  While I have a growing addiction to my favorite video game +Destiny the Game I also know that this year was the rainiest and cloudiest I've seen since moving to North Carolina in 2003.  Last year was probably busier because of the Mars opposition. This year the slack of one less planet would have been taken up with additional Deep Sky work, but those partly cloudy nights just weren't worth the effort.  Perhaps with Mars a partly cloudy night may have been worth a peek through some thin clouds but not faint fuzzies.  For those wondering I keep my astro logs in a great open source program called Observation Manager

Ok, on to this year's image, 1st with labels.... full resolution (1920x1200) on imgur

...and for you wallpaper weenies like me, the unlabeled version ... full resolution (1920x1200) on imgur.  I tagged the image

This year still had no Mercury or Pluto but I did get Eris. Which is seen in the lower right taken on three consecutive nights in early October.  I was amazed at how bright it is to have only been discovered in 2003!    Here's an animation in gifv format...

Here's to a decent 2015 and let's get more clear skies in 2016!  

Happy New Year!


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Loving husband, proud father, computer geek, astro freak, music lover, sports nut and general fun-loving guy

I think I'm the kind of person who doesn't like strong opinions.  It doesn't matter if I agree with your opinion or not, it's not factual, it never will be 100% factual and I don't care for it.  That's probably why I hate politics.

I've always loved facts, provable facts of nature and things concerning science.  

Over time, I found that most facts are mostly reference and it was the creation of and discovery of new things that intrigued me.

"A good friend once told me you are our memory
without them we equal nothing
And all I can see is the place I wanna be
Suddenly my life was so free
Leaves at my feet, blown to the ground
their echoes are reaching my ears
Nights coming fast, suns going down" - A7x