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Skies this month...


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For all you astronomers out there, heres highlights of this month

The moon

New moon: 29th 1415 GMT

First: 6 jan 1857 GMT

Full: 14 jan 0948 GMT

Last 22 Jan 1514 GMT

Date Time Distance Diameter

Perigee 1 jan 2300 GMT 361,800km 33'02"

Apogee 17 jan 1900 GMT 405,900km 29' 26"

Perigee 30 jan 0800 GMT 357,800km 33' 24"

The Planets

Mercury: poorly placed for viewing, as it is never more than 15 degrees away from the sun

Venus: Inferior conjunction on 13th Jan, and near the moon at the beginning and end of the month.

Mars: Still bright object but fading rapidly as it moves away from us. The moon passes nearby on 8 January.

Jupiter: Is well placed in the morning sky, but you'll have to crawl out of bed if you wish to see it.

Saturn: Opposition on 27th January. Observable from mid-evening. By midnight it will be over 50 degrees altitude.

Uranus: lies three degrees southwest of 4th Magnitude star Lambda Aquarii, at magnitude +5.8

Neptune: Can just be found at the beginning of the month some 20 degrees further along the ecliptic in Capricornus.

Pluto: is leaving conjunction

KBO 2003 UB313 (the possible 10th planet) is at magnitude +19 in Cetus is within CCD range for amateur observers.

January Phenomena

08: Moon one degree North of Mars @ 7pm

14: Venus is at inferior conjunction @ midnight

14: Venus is @ inferior conjunction @ midnight

15: Moon four degrees North of saturn @ 3pm

16 Asteroid (111) Ate is at opposition

17: Mercury eight degrees south of jupiter @ 4pm

23: Moon five degrees south of Jupiter @ 6pm

26: Mercury is @ superior conjunction @ 10pm

27: Saturn @ opposition @ 11pm

28: Moon 12 degrees south of venus @ 2am

29: Moon two degrees south of mercury @ 6pm

31: Asteroid (79) Eurynome @ opposition.

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