Astronomy Events – January 2014

on

by yaska77

Happy New Year! Firstly, all of us at Sky-Watching would like to wish our visitors a very happy 2014! It’s because you keep visiting and reading our posts that we keep writing, and although weather and circumstance have been against us uploading more of our own images in 2013, we’re fresh faced and eager to get stuck into 2014.

Well, once the after effects of our celebrations have worn off and the weather has improved of course 😉

Don’t forget Series Four of Stargazing LIVE starts on BBC2 and BBC2 HD on Tuesday 7th January at 20:00. Running for three consecutive evenings (and following the now established format) the show will be a mix of studio demonstrations, video reports and amateur content and interaction.

Last year viewers of Stargazing Live! helped identify a new planet - Credit: BBC
Stargazing LIVE hosts Brian Cox and Dara O’Briain are ready to take us through three more evenings of astronomy related fun from Jodrell Bank Observatory. Begins Tuesday 7th January at 8pm on BBC2 and BBC2 HD – Credit: BBC

Followed immediately after by Stargazing LIVE: Back to Earth, the half hour after show with more discussion and content, if you can watch BBC2 where you are it’s three evenings of great space related viewing.

With that and all the other astral activities we’ve noted below for the whole month, get outside and get stargazing live!

Keep watching the skies!

Wednesday 1st January – The New Moon rises with (and sets just after) the Sun today, so now is a good time to observe deep sky objects when the skies are unaffected by moonlight

It is also at Perigee today at a distance of 356,920 km (221,780 miles), the closest point of its orbit to the Earth

Friday 3rd January Mars is at Aphelion today, the furthest its orbit takes it away from the Sun

The first of the annual meteor showers peaks this evening. The Quadrantids have been known to peak with a ZHR of up to 80 meteors per hour. Thankfully today the Moon sets early so if your skies are clear enough it could be quite a show!

Shown low down to the NE at 23:00 UTC on 3rd January, the radiant is a good guide but you'll see meteors all over the sky! (Click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Shown low down to the NE at 23:00 UTC on 3rd January, the radiant is a good guide but you’ll see meteors all over the sky! (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Quadrantids are seen most often as blue or yellow streaks, and will be visible all over the sky from nightfall (with the peak around 19:00 UTC) appearing to emanate from the constellation Boötes to the north (see above for radiant guide)

Winter constellation Orion can also be found due south at 23:00, so if you’ve got some binoculars or a telescope you should be able to spot M42, the Orion Nebula, which is part of the sword on Orion’s belt

M42 the Orion Nebula is a great sight through binoculars or a small telescope (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn
M42 the Orion Nebula is a great sight through binoculars or a small telescope (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Saturday 4th January – Our own dear planet Earth is at Perihelion today, the closest we come to the Sun at distance of 146.9 million km (91.3 million miles)

Sunday 5th January – Gas giant Jupiter is at opposition in the constellation Gemini today (rising at sunset and setting at sunrise) and will be observable all evening

Jupiter and moons (left to right: Callisto, Europa, Io and Ganymede) from 28th September 2011 - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn
Jupiter and moons (left to right: Callisto, Europa, Io and Ganymede) from 28th September 2011 (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Wednesday 8th January – This morning the Moon is seen at First Quarter phase

Saturday 11th January – Bright planet Venus is in Inferior conjunction today, which happens when a planet that is within our orbit passes between the Earth and the Sun. If your horizons are flat enough you could catch Venus both just after sunset on the 10th and again just before sunrise on 11th

Tuesday 14th January – The Moon and Jupiter appear as near neighbours in the sky this evening. Shown below at 23:00 looking due south, even with the glare from the Moon the gas giant will be visible

Jupiter and the near Full Moon pay each other a close visit in the night sky on 14th January (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Jupiter and the near Full Moon pay each other a close visit in the night sky on 14th January, shown above at 23:00 UTC (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Wednesday 15th January – Continuing our latest addition to this guide, below we’ve provided constellation guides for Southern and Northern skies in January!

January Southern Sky Northern Hemisphere
Shown at 00:00 UTC on 15th January, both these images are a handy guide for the whole month. This is the view you’ll get looking south (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
January Northern Sky Northern Hemisphere
Displaying the night sky midway through the month, this image can help you identify the constellations you’ll see in the northern sky in January (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Thursday 16th January The Full Moon in the sky this morning is also sometimes known as the Winter Moon, Holiday Moon or Ice Moon

It also appears at Apogee at a distance of 406,535 km (252,609 miles), the furthest point out in its orbit around the Earth

Saturday 18th January Regulus, which is part of the constellation Leo, is paid a close visit by the waning gibbous Moon this evening

Waning gibbous Moon and Regulus are seen close by this evening, shown above at 23:00 UTC (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Waning gibbous Moon and Regulus are seen close by this evening, shown above at 23:00 UTC (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Friday 24th January – The morning Moon appears at Last Quarter phase today

Saturday 25th January – Ringed planet Saturn is visible close by the waning crescent Moon this evening

Shown at 23:00 UTC on 25th January, Saturn appears close to our Moon this evening (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Shown at 23:00 UTC on 25th January, Saturn appears close to our Moon this evening (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Thursday 30th January – The second New Moon of the month makes the end of January another good time to observe the fainter deep sky objects that pepper our sky!

Friday 31st January – Our Sun’s closest planet Mercury is at Greatest Eastern Elongation today, appearing low down to the West at sunset if your horizon is low enough. As an extra treat, you might just catch the faintest sliver of waxing crescent Moon into the bargain

Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation
Shown low down to the WSW at 17:25 UTC, if your horizon is flat enough you should catch a glimpse of Mercury near the thin sliver of crescent Moon (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

As usual, if you take any photos throughout January you’d like to show us, please tweet them to us using the link below! We’d love to see your efforts!

Planets visible this month:

Jupiter
Venus
Neptune
Uranus
Mars
Mercury
Saturn

Remember, it can take your eyes up to 20 minutes to become properly dark adapted, and anything up to an hour for a telescope to reach ambient temperature outside (to ensure the best image), so give yourself plenty of time to get set up!

To make it easier to find this list of astronomical happenings you can also locate it in the “Monthly Guide” section in the menu bar to the right. Handy! 🙂

Guide images created with Stellarium

Archive:
Astronomy Events – December 2013
Astronomy Events – November 2013
Astronomy Events – October 2013

Advertisements

2 Comments Add yours

  1. tashbrowns says:

    Reblogged this on 恋の予感 and commented:
    I’m glad that WordPress is a place where you can add your own thoughts to things. I’ll be looking out for some of these and will hopefully be able to catch them although I live in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s