Thursday, January 1, 2015

Sky Events January 2015


Moon Phases

Sunday, January 4, 11:53 p.m. EST

Full Moon

The Full Moon of January is known as the “Wolf Moon” or “Old Moon.” It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise; this is the only night in the month when the Moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the Moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky.

Tuesday, January 13, 4:46 a.m. EST

Last Quarter Moon

The Last Quarter Moon rises around 12:30 a.m. and sets around noon. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky.

Tuesday, January 20, 8:14 a.m. EST

New Moon

The Moon is not visible on the date of New Moon because it is too close to the Sun, but can be seen low in the East as a narrow crescent a morning or two before, just before sunrise. It is visible low in the West an evening or two after New Moon.

Monday, January 26, 11:48 p.m. EST

First Quarter Moon

The First Quarter Moon rises around 11 a.m. and sets around 1 a.m. It dominates the evening sky.


Observing Highlights

Saturday, January 3, 9 p.m. EST

Quadrantid meteor shower peaks

A waxing gibbous Moon will interfere with viewing this meteor shower. The best meteors will be visible after midnight, about 90 degrees away from the radiant in Bo├Âtes.

Tuesday, January 6, 6:56–8:08 a.m. EST

Double shadow transit on Jupiter

The shadows of Io and Europa will fall simultaneously on Jupiter.

Thursday–Monday, January 8–12, dusk

Mercury close to Venus

Mercury will be within one degree of Venus for five days, making it easy to spot in evening twilight. Mars is also visible higher in the sky.

Friday, January 9, 8:15–10:05 p.m. EST

Double shadow transit on Jupiter

The shadows of Io and Europa will fall simultaneously on Jupiter.

Friday, January 16, 1 hour before sunrise

Saturn and the Moon

Saturn will be close to the slender waning crescent Moon, just before sunrise Tuesday morning.

Friday, January 16, 10:51–11:59 p.m. EST

Double shadow transit on Jupiter

The shadows of Io and Europa will fall simultaneously on Jupiter.

Monday, January 19, dusk

Neptune and Mars

Neptune and Mars will pass within 15 arc minutes of each other, a rare planetary conjunction.

Friday–Saturday, January 23–24, 11:35 p.m.–03:00 a.m. EST

Double and triple shadow transit on Jupiter

The shadows of Io, Europa, and Callisto will fall simultaneously on Jupiter; this is an extremely rare event, which will not occur again until 2032.


Thursday, January 29, dusk

Aldebaran and the Moon

The waxing gibbous Moon is east of the red giant star Aldebaran and the Hyades star cluster. The bright Pleiades star cluster is above and towards the west.

Planets

Mercury is well placed in the evening sky close to Venus.

Venus is an “evening star” in the southwestern sky just after sunset.

 Mars spends most of the month in Aquarius, low in the southwestern sky after sunset.

Jupiter now rises in the early evening in the constellation Leo, and shines brightly in the southern sky the rest of the night. The current series of double shadow transits culminates in a triple shadow transit on the night of January 24.

 Saturn moves from Libra into Scorpius on January 17 the southeastern morning sky.

Uranus is well placed in Pisces in the evening sky, setting in late evening.

 Neptune is low the western evening sky in Aquarius.


Geoff Gaherty
Starry Night Software Support
All graphics © 2015 Starry Night Software