ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

MN StarWatch: January’s full moon arrives on Friday, the 6th.

Minnesota Starwatch is a service of the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics

123122-mn-starwatch-january-full-moon.jpg
On Sunday, January 22, Saturn drops past Venus as Earth’s orbital motion sends the ringed planet tumbling into the sunset. Look for the pair of planets very low in the southwest just as the sky darkens.
Copyright All rights reserved by Starlog
We are part of The Trust Project.

The new year opens with Venus climbing out of the sun’s afterglow. On Sunday, January 22, Saturn drops past Venus as Earth’s orbital motion sends the ringed planet tumbling into the sunset. Look for the pair of planets very low in the southwest just as the sky darkens.

If you catch Venus and Saturn, also turn your eyes to Jupiter, the beacon high in the southwest, and high-flying, reddish Mars, the second-brightest object in the knot of winter constellations in the east. With the right timing, you can simultaneously view Venus—the brightest planet—and Sirius, the brightest star (after the sun) and the last of the iconic winter stars to clear the eastern horizon.

January’s full moon arrives on Friday, the 6th. It rises before sunset and becomes full at 5:08 p.m. After nightfall it shines to the right of the Gemini twins Pollux (the brighter) and Castor. Between about 9 p.m. and midnight on Friday the 30th, you’ll have plenty of time to watch a waxing moon of the next cycle glide close below Mars.

ADVERTISEMENT

In the predawn sky, the Northern Cross lies on its side below brilliant Vega, the jewel of Lyra, the lyre. On the 18th, a thin waning moon rises close to Antares, the heart of Scorpius.

Earth reaches perihelion, the closest point to the sun in its orbit, at 10:17 a.m. on the 4th, when our planet reaches its top speed. Changes in Earth’s speed go largely unnoticed, but they show up in the length of the seasons. Because Earth goes so fast in the middle of its journey from the September to the March equinox, the combined fall-winter season is about seven days shorter for us than for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere.

Read More Science and Nature

The University of Minnesota’s public viewings of the night sky at its Duluth and Twin Cities campuses:

Duluth, Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium: www.d.umn.edu/planet

ADVERTISEMENT

Twin Cities, Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics: www.astro.umn.edu/outreach/pubnight

Check out astronomy programs, free telescope events, and planetarium shows:

University of Minnesota's Bell Museum: www.bellmuseum.umn.edu/astronomy

Find U of M astronomers and links to the world of astronomy at: https://cse.umn.edu/mifa

--- --- --- --- ---

Deane Morrison

Writer/Editor | University Relations |university-relations.umn.edu

ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota Starwatch is a service of the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics, located in the Tate Laboratory of Physics and Astronomy, 116 Church St. S.E., Minneapolis MN 55455.

What To Read Next
Ice is slippery because the pressure of weight causes a thin layer of the ice to melt.
Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - February 7, 2023
The U.S. trade summary reveals the depth of our trade with China.
If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205.