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 June.
Mercury begins the new year by emerging into the evening sky before sunset. Mercury is located in the constellation Sagittarius, The Archer, until January 7th when is crosses into the constellation Capricornus, the Sea Goat.
Greatest Eastern Elongation
|Elongations occur when the planet position in its orbital path is at tangent to the view from Earth. Because these inner planets are inside the Earth’s orbit, their positions as viewed from the Earth are never very far from the position of the Sun. When a planet is at Elongation is it furthest from the Sun as viewed from Earth, so it’s view is best at that point. There are two kinds of Elongations: The Eastern Elongation occurs when the planet is in the evening sky and the Western Elongation Occurs when a planet is in the morning sky.|
Venus will dominate the morning sky all month as the Morning Star. Venus begins the year in the constellation Libra, the Balance, but on New Years Day, immediately crosses into the constellation Scorpius, the Scorpion. On January 5th, Venus moves into the constellation Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer, where it will stay until January 21st, when it moves into the constellation Sagittarius, the Archer and approaches the planet Jupiter near the end of the month.
On January 23rd Venus will pass within 5°15’ of the former planet Pluto. Between January 23rd through the 31st, Venus, Pluto and Jupiter move closer together in triple conjunction. By the 31st Venus rises 0°35’ of Jupiter, within 2°15’ of M22, 4°15’ of M25.
Since Mars was at Opposition on Christmas Eve Mars will still be excellent viewing all night in January. Mars is located in the constellation Taurus, the Bull, all month and moving in retrograde motion until January 31st.
On January 19th, 2008 8:00pm - Mar and the Moon near the zenith.
Jupiter found in the constellation Sagittarius, the Archer, all month. New Years Day find Jupiter emerging from the glare of the morning sun. Jupiter continues to improve its position from the sun, rising early each morning before sunrise.
Saturn is located in the constellation Leo, the Lion, until the year 2009. Saturn is moving in retrograde motion all month. Saturn rises about 9:30 at the beginning of the month , and by the end of the month it will rise around 7:15pm.
Uranus is located in the constellation Aqaurius, the Water Bearer, until the year 2009. Uranus is viewable in the evening and sets around 10:00pm at the beginning of the month. By the end of January, Uranus sets around 8:00pm.
Neptune is located in the constellation Capricornus, the Sea Goat, until the year 2010. Neptune is viewable in the evening and sets around 7:45pm at the beginning of the month. By the end of January, Neptune sets around 6:00pm and will be lost in the glare of the sunset.
which will pass within 5°.