By Heather Durham | December 31, 2019
Happy New Year and new decade everyone! This month comes with an eclipse of the Moon as well as from M44, our Beehive Cluster. The darkest days are over now providing us with ever increasing daylight until June.
Let’s hope that our new decade is full of increasing optimism and joy! Now let’s explore what the Cosmos has in store for us this the first month of the new decade!
January 1: The Moon is at its farthest point from the Earth.
January 2: M41, the open cluster from Canis Major will be at its highest point in the sky.
The first quarter of the moon will occur as well.
January 4: Quadrantid meteor shower from the Constellation Boötes will be on display.
January 5: Earth will be at its closest point to the Sun.
January 10: The planet Mercury will travel close to the Sun.
A penumbral eclipse of the Moon will occur on this date meaning that the Moon will pass through the Earth’s shadow. Not only will the Moon be full tonight, but it will also travel to its farthest place from the Sun.
January 11: The Moon and the Beehive open cluster from the Constellation Cancer will approach one another. (Wikipedia, 2019).
January 13: Saturn will move closely by the Sun. Also, Pluto will move closely by the Sun. The Moon will pass closely by the Earth making it appear slightly larger than usual. As a minor planet designation, 1 Ceres will move very close to the Sun. Also of note, 1 Ceres passes back and forth between Mars and Jupiter as the biggest object in the main asteroid belt.
January 15: On this date, another minor planet designation, Asteroid 511 Davida will be visible. This is from the Constellation Gemini. From Puppis, the open star cluster otherwise referred to as M47 or NGC 2422 will be available for viewing. NGC 2403 which is also referred to as Caldwell 7 comes from the Constellation Camelopardalis is an intermediate spiral galaxy available in the night sky. (Wikipedia,2019)
January 17: This will be the date for the last quarter of the Moon. Once again from the Puppis Constellation, comes open star cluster NGC 2451.
January 19: Today will bring us y-Ursae minorid meteor shower from the Constellation Ursa Minor.
January 20: The Moon and Mars will both rise to the right (in a right ascension (see References)) and they will come to be in close proximity to one another.
January 21: From within the Constellation Cancer, comes Asteroid 5 Astraea.
January 22: The Moon and Jupiter will be both close together as well as rising to the right (in a right ascension (see References)).
January 23: The Moon will go to its closest point to the Sun.
January 24: The Moon will be new today.
January 27: Venus and Neptune will be close and also rise to the right (in a right ascension (see References)).
January 28: The Moon and Venus will rise to the right (in a right ascension (see References)). The Moon, Venus and Neptune will be in close proximity to one another.
January 29: The Moon will appear smaller for it is far away from the Earth.
January 31: Once again this month, we will be presented again with M44 or the Beehive Cluster. An open star cluster from the Constellation Vela, also known as Caldwell 85 may be visible with binoculars.
in-the-sky.org. (2019). Retrieved from in-the-sky.org/newscast.php?month=1&year=2020&maxdiff=7#datesel
Wikipedia. (2019, December 19). Beehive Cluster. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beehive_Cluster
Wikipedia. (2019, December 7). Boötes. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boötes
Wikipedia. (2019, December 18). Canis Major. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canis_Major
Wikipedia. (2019, December 27). IC 2391. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IC_2391
Wikipedia (2019, October 16). Penumbral Eclipse. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_eclipse#Penumbral_eclipse
Wikipedia. (2019, December 15). Right Ascension. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_ascension