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Home / Explore / Astronomy Info & Events: January

Astronomy Info & Events: January

The Visible Planets

Mercury makes a favourable appearance, low in the southwestern sky after sunset at the start of the month for observers in the northern hemisphere. However, by January 14, Mercury moves lower in the southwestern and disappears in the glare of the setting Sun. Look for the planet Saturn just above Mercury from January 1 to January 14.

Venus starts the month very low in the southwestern sky after sunset but disappears quickly into the glare of the setting Sun. On January 8, Venus is at inferior conjunction (in between the Sun and the Earth). Around January 17, Venus emerges out of the Sun’s glow slowly reappearing in our southeastern sky before sunrise. Look for a nice conjunction of Venus with the fainter planet Mars and the waning crescent Moon before sunrise on January 29.

Mars rises before the Sun rises along the southeastern horizon during the month, but it will be difficult to see as it lingers low along the horizon in the Sun’s dawn glow. On January 29, before the Sun rises, look for faint Mars just above the very slim wanning crescent Moon, low above the southeastern horizon. The brighter planet Venus will be seen just above and to the left of Mars.

Jupiter is visible as the brightest object visible low in the southwestern sky, amongst the stars of the constellation of Aquarius, the water bearer, after sunset during the month. As the month progresses, it sinks lower in the southwestern sky after sunset from night to night.

Saturn is visible with some difficulty, low above the southwestern horizon within the constellation of Capricornus, the sea goat, after sunset early in the month. It soon disappears into the glare of the setting Sun around January 23 and will not be visible for the rest of the month. It will be at conjunction, in line of sight with the Sun, on February 4.

Moon Phases

January 2 New Moon

January 9 First Quarter Moon

January 17 Full Moon, The Wolf Moon (Smallest Full Moon of 2022)

January 25 Last Quarter Moon

January 31 New Moon

Special Events

International Space Station (ISS) Observable Passes

Look for passes of the ISS in the evening sky after sunset from January 18 to February 5. The ISS will always be found moving from west to east in the sky for each pass. The height above the horizon will vary from pass to pass. Exact times of these passages for your location can be found by visiting the website http://www.heavens-above.com or by using satellite tracking smart phone apps like Sputnik.

January 3 Quadrantid meteor shower peaks (Zenith hourly rate of 120 meteors)

January 4 Earth at perihelion (closest distance to the Sun) 147,105,052 km

January 7 Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation (19 degrees from the Sun)

January 8 Venus at inferior conjunction

January 10 Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Edmonton Centre meeting

Virtual meeting through Zoom. Free for anyone to attend.

See http://www.edmontonrasc.com for more details.

January 23 Mercury at inferior conjunction

January 29 Conjunction of Venus, Mars, and the thin waning crescent Moon