January Astronomy

Long nights and clear winter skies make January a perfect month for stargazing.

Long nights and clear winter skies make January a perfect month for stargazing.

| Categories: Eye on the Sky, Planetarium News, Skywatch Almanac Astronomy, What's Happening

The planets should be perfect for night owls, all of them appearing after midnight, starting with Jupiter and Mars fairly close together in the southeast by the dawn’s twilight. Saturn barely rises by late in the month, while Mercury is at its morning best through the 10th. Venus is lost in the Sun’s glare. The winter stars feature the brightest collection of the year. Orion becomes the center of attention, with his three belt stars drawing a line to the right, pointing to the red star Aldebaran, the “eye” of Taurus, the Bull. To the left, Orion’s Belt leads to the rising star Sirius – the brightest star in the night skies. The
brilliant Capella is nearly overhead.

moon calendar

The full “Wolf” moon on January 1 will be a “super” moon because its comes into full visibility hours after reaching perigee, its closest point to Earth for the month.

Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium

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