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The four stars of the Great Square of Pegasus are easy to find. Ready? Let’s star-hop!
Sirius is easy to find. It’s the sky’s brightest star on the sky’s dome. When you look at it, you’re looking backwards along our solar system’s path through the Milky Way galaxy.
Elnath, the 2nd-brightest star in Taurus, is the closest bright star to the galactic anticenter – the point in space directly opposite of our Milky Way’s center.
Within a triangle of 3 bright stars – hidden in between the many bright and glittering stars visible at this time of year – you’ll find the constellation of Monoceros the Unicorn.
A last quarter moon rises around midnight. It appears half illuminated from Earth. The exact last quarter phase will come on January 19, 2017 at 22:13 UTC.
The V-shaped Hyades star cluster represents the face of Taurus the Bull. The cluster is easy to spot in the evening sky in January.
On January 19, 2017, Mercury will be at greatest elongation. That means it’s now nearly at its farthest from the sun on our sky’s dome for this morning apparition. Watch for it!
Watch the celestial clock and its two great big hour hands – Cassiopeia and the Big Dipper – as they swing around the North Star every night!
The sky’s brightest star, Sirius aka the Dog Star, will come to within 1.6 degrees of the south celestial pole in the year 66270.
It’s a big circle of bright stars. In the Northern Hemisphere, we call it the Winter Circle, but it can be seen from around the globe.
Regulus is Leo the Lion’s brightest star, sometimes called the Lion’s Heart. See it near the moon on January 14. From some places, the moon will pass in front of Regulus!
Full moon has come and gone. Now the moon is rising later at night. Watch for a daytime moon in the west in early morning in the next few days.
Happy Julian New Year! January 13, 2017 marks the last day of a year in the old-style Julian calendar. Why, and what happened when our ancestors made this monumental calendar switch.
All you need to know about 2017’s major meteor showers! How and when to watch, and more.
We see Capella as the brightest star in the constellation Auriga the Charioteer. It’s actually 2 stars, each with a golden color similar to our sun.
In January 2017, Venus blazes in the west after sunset. Mars is fainter, and nearby. The other 3 bright planets – Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury – light up the hours before sunrise.
At greatest elongation on January 12, 2017, Venus is as far from the sun as it will be for this evening apparition.
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!
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?
Go outside, and look for the waxing gibbous moon tonight. Then notice the stars nearby. Tonight’s moon is within the Winter Circle stars.
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