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Venus milestone on January 12

At greatest elongation on January 12, 2017, Venus is as far from the sun as it will be for this evening apparition.

When does full moon happen for you?

Full moon is January 12, 2017 at 11:34 UTC. Fullest moon for you on the night of January 11 if you’re in the Americas, and on January 12 if you’re in Asia. In between? Either night will do!

What’s special about a full moon?

Why does a full moon tug our heartstrings? And why does the moon on this night look full, in contrast to other other nights and other phases of the moon?

Identify stars in the Winter Circle

Go outside, and look for the waxing gibbous moon tonight. Then notice the stars nearby. Tonight’s moon is within the Winter Circle stars.

Where’s the moon? Waxing gibbous

The moon looks bright and nearly full. Full moon will happen on January 12, 2017 at 11:34 UTC. If you’re in the Americas, your fullest-looking moon will come on the night of January 11.

Moon near former pole star on January 9

People in Asia will see Aldebaran pass behind the moon on this date. The rest of us will see Aldebaran in the moon’s glare. Plus … the story of Aldebaran when it was part of a double pole star.

Moon, Aldebaran, Pleiades on January 8

Pleiades star cluster – and bright star Aldebaran – are both in Taurus the Bull. If you can’t see them near tonight’s moon, break out the binoculars!

Contemplate the apex of the sun’s way

Our sun moves around the center of the galaxy, toward the star Vega. Astronomers call this motion the apex of the sun’s way. One circuit – about 230 million years – is called a cosmic year.

No double moon in 2017, or ever

Can Mars ever appear as large as the moon in Earth’s sky? Heck no.

Orion the Hunter easy to spot in January

It’s identifiable by Orion’s Belt, three medium-bright stars in a short, straight row at the mid-section of the Hunter.