Archive for January, 2007

January 2007

Monday, January 1st, 2007

Winter Solstice

The Earth will reach its Perihelion in its orbit on January 3rd, 2007.

The Perihelion is the point in Earth’s elliptical orbit that it is closest to the Sun.  This is the opposite point to the Aphelion when the Earth is at its furthest point to the Sun, which occurs in July.

Lunar Events

The New Moon occurs on January 18th, 2007. This makes the weekend of January 20th-21st the best weekend for dark sky viewing.

The full moon this month is on January 3rd, 2007.  This full moon is known as the "Full Wolf Moon" or the "Old Moon."

On January 27th the Waxing Gibbous Moon sets within about 5° of the asterism known as Pleiades (M45).

Mercury

Mercury is unobservable for most of this month due to its proximity to the glare of the Sun.  Mercury will re-appear around the last 7-10 days of the month in the evening sky right after sunset.

Mercury starts the month out in the constellation Sagittarius (The Archer) and will move (unseen) into the constellation Capricornus (The Sea Goat) on January 14th, 2007.  Mercury ends this month moving into the constellation Aquarius (The Water Bearer) on January 31st, 2007.

On January 19th, Mercury will be within 3° from a very new Waxing Crescent Moon.  This may be a difficult event to see right after sunset.

Venus

Venus is the Evening Star this month and is prominently visible in the evening all month. Venus starts the month in the constellation Sagittarius (The Archer) and moves to the constellation Capricornus (The Sea Goat) on January 3rd, 2007.  On January 25th, 2007, Venus moves into the constellation Aqaurius (The Water Bearer) where it finishes the month.

On January 20th, 2007 a very new waxing crescent moon will pass within 4° of Venus.

Mars

Visible all month in the morning hours, Mars starts the year out in the constellation Ophiuchus (The Serpent Bearer). On January 11th, 2007, Mars passes into the constellation Sagittarius (The Sea Goat).


Mars will be passed by the Waning Crescent Moon on January 16th, 2007 coming within 7° of each other.

Jupiter

Jupiter is located in the constellation Ophiuchus (The Serpent Bearer) until December 2nd, 2007. Jupiter is observable in the morning hours all month.


On January 15th, 2007 the Waning Crescent Moon will pass within 7° of Jupiter.

Saturn

Saturn will be excellent viewing for the next four or five months as Saturn will reach Opposition next month on February 10th, 2007. Due to opposition Saturn will be viewable all night and will appear at its largest apparent size for the year.

Saturn is located in the constellation Leo (The Lion) until the year 2009.


On January 6th Saturn will be occulted by the Waning Gibbous Moon, unfortunately this will only be observable from Northern Siberia to Western Alaska.

Uranus

Uranus is located in the constellation Aquarius (The Water Bearer) until the year 2009 and is visible all month in the evening sky.

On January 21st, 2007 The Moon will set 2° before Uranus.

Neptune

Neptune is located in the constellation Capricornus (The Sea Goat) until the year 2010 and is observable all month in the evening.

Pluto

Pluto is not observable until the last week of the Month, when is re-emerges from the glare of the morning sun.  Pluto is located in the constellation Sagittarius until the year 2023.

January 15th, 2007 Positions of Pluto, Jupiter and Mars relative to the Moon at Sunrise.


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