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  • Chris Baker

What's Up? -JANUARY 2023

Each month I highlight a few objects you can spot in the night sky without the need for optical equipment.


Here we go with the first one for 2023 and we are in for a treat as all the planets are visible this month (although Mercury is a tough ask!)


Mars is super all month and Venus begins to put on a brilliant show. So wrap up warm and pop outside and you'll see some amazing planets shining in the night sky.


There's also a conjunction of Venus and Saturn to look forward to later in the month!




PLANETS


Mercury

This is tough to see as it follows close to the sun as it sets. But if you have a low horizon toward the west then take advantage while you can. Later in the month Mercury will shift to a morning object. Let me know if you spot Mercury!


Venus

At the beginning of January Venus is still rather low down in the south west at sunset, close to the sun. However, during the month it will begin to peep above the tress, still low down, but shining brilliantly so if you have line of sight you'll not miss it! (Never look through binoculars in the direction of the sun)


Example of Venus mid-month around 17:30 in the south west

Courtesy of Stellarium


Mars

Mars again puts on a fine display this month. It is easy to spot - rising high in the eastern sky in the constellation of Taurus, visible until well after midnight.


Put the 3rd and the 30th in your diary as Mars will be close to the moon and the Pleiades star cluster. Also look out for the red star Aldebaran just below.


Mars near the Moon and Pleiades on the evening of the 3rd January - Look South East

Courtesy of Stellarium


Don't forget you'll get a similar stunning view around the 30th January too.



Jupiter and Saturn

These two gas giants on on there way out, chasing the Sun but will still be visible this month. Saturn is low down on the south west at sunset while Jupiter shines more brightly in the early evening as it sets. Try seeing them in the first half of the month.


Jupiter and Saturn mid month around 18:00 look south west

Courtesy of Stellarium


Conjunction of Venus and Saturn


Prior to Saturn disappearing, it puts on one last showing by it's close encounter with Venus. This can be seen between the 22nd and 24th January just after sunset. A lovely spot!


Venus and Saturn close by 22nd- 24th January 17:30-18:00 low down in the South West

Courtesy of Stellarium



Enjoy the night sky this month and let me know about your observations


Thank you for reading this blog and do let me know if there is anything you would like me to add to my Newsletter each month.

chris@galaxyonglass.com

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