Astronomy Events in 2018

 

Astronomy Events in January 2018

At the start of the New Year, if the clouds clear, why not grab your binoculars and take a look at the sky.

Here are some suggestions.

 

JANUARY

1 Jan: Mercury reaches greatest western elongation of 22.7 degrees from the Sun and will be
at its highest above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky
just before sunrise.

2 Jan: Supermoon. Full Moon coincides with the Moon's closest approach to Earth (perigee). 
Makes January's 'Wolf Moon' a Supermoon, which means the Moon may look larger and 
brighter than usual.

3 Jan: Earth at Perihelion (closest point to the Sun in its yearly orbit)

3 to 4 Jan: Quadrantid meteor shower with up to 40 meteors per hour. Thought to be produced
by dust grains from an extinct comet (2003 EH1 - discovered in 2003). The shower runs annually
from 1 to 5 January. Best viewed from a dark location after midnight. The nearly full moon will 
block out all but the brightest meteors this year. Meteors will radiate from the constellation 
Bootes, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

11 Jan: Conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter
11 Jan: Conjunction of the Moon and Mars

14 Jan: M47 and NGC 2403 are well placed

17 Jan:  New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will 
not be visible in the night sky. A good time to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star
clusters.

30 Jan: M44 is well placed

31 Jan: Dwarf planet Ceres at opposition
31 Jan: Blue Moon (the second Full Moon in the same month). Eclipsed if viewed from 
western North America, eastern Asia, Australia and the Pacific Ocean (... not Shetland)

For more ideas and information on what to observe this month, please visit

Jodrell Bank's Night Sky Guide