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Looking Up: A Stargazer’s Guide to January 2012

Looking Up: A Stargazer’s Guide to January 2012

Here’s a quick look at what’s going on in the sky during the month of January, 2012:

January 1— First Quarter Moon, 1:15 a.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is increasing.

January 2 — Moon at apogee (its farthest point from the Earth).

January 3, 4 — – Quadrantids Meteor Shower. A strong shower, radiating from the constellation Boötes. Can have up to 40 meteors per hour at its peak. Dark skies after midnight will allow for prime viewing.

January 4 — Earth at perehelion (its closest point to the Sun). 8 p.m.

January 9 — Full Moon, 2:30 a.m. The visible Moon is fully illuminated by direct sunlight. Though the Moon is only technically in this phase for a few seconds, it is considered “full” for the entire day of the event, and appears full for three days.

January 16— Last Quarter Moon, 4:08 a.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is decreasing.

January 17 — Moon at perigee (its closest point to the Earth).

January 23— New Moon, 2:39 a.m. The Moon is not illuminated by direct sunlight.

January 29— First Quarter Moon, 11:10 p.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is increasing.

January 30 — Moon at apogee (its farthest point from the Earth).

9 comments

1 Jaime McLeod { 01.12.12 at 9:05 am }

Hi Anita,
Here’s a story we ran a couple of years ago about rings around the Moon: http://www.farmersalmanac.com/astronomy/2009/08/17/ring-around-the-moon/

2 Anita { 01.11.12 at 5:57 pm }

on january 10th around 8 p.m. we saw the moon with a yellow glow about it what does that mean? and it looked like it had a ring around it the 8th and 9th? we like looking at the sky but do not understand these things…can you help?

3 Tammy { 01.04.12 at 10:48 pm }

WE should be able to see it..here in southeast SD,,,yaya

4 Stephanie { 01.03.12 at 7:50 pm }

Those in the northern hem will be able to see the meteor shower. However its way too cold to be out after midnight.

5 Jaime McLeod { 12.29.11 at 9:25 am }

Rachelle, The shower should be visible to anyone in the Northern Hemisphere, provided the skies are clear. To increase your chances of seeing some activity, go out into the country, away from light pollution.

6 Betty Smith { 12.28.11 at 8:15 pm }

The stars & moon amazes me.

7 Pam { 12.28.11 at 2:38 pm }

We have had beautiful weather here in Central Oregon and hardly any clouds so we will see it here I am sure

8 Solomons Gardens Nursery { 12.28.11 at 1:16 pm }

Most likely us in beautiful sunny “dr” California! Unless the weather pattern changes soon.

9 Rachelle { 12.28.11 at 11:52 am }

who will be able to see the meteor showers on Jan 3,4th?

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