Cold, clear winter skies offer the best sights for naked eye, binocular and telescope observing, so wrap up and get out there.

2-4th January look out for the peak of the Quadrantids, a meteor shower radiating from just below the Ursa Major constellation.

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11th January Earth is at perihelion, the point during its orbit that is closest to the Sun, only 147,101,082km or 0.98AU.

11-13th the Moon shows a little more of its surface due to ‘libration’ allowing observation of features on the northeast lunar limb, look for the area around Mare Humboldtianum.

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Observing on the 12th, allows the opportunity to see the brightest planet Venus alongside the dimmest Neptune, (with less than a full moon’s diameter between them). Neptune is so far away that binoculars at least will be needed, preferably a telescope.
All month, beautiful Venus at a magnitude of -4.3 to -4.6 graces our skies, reaching it’s point of greatest eastern elongation.

For those who like a real challenge, using binoculars or a telescope look out for W Orionis, part of Orion the hunter constellation, it is a small, cool temperature carbon star, with the blue wavelength light absorbed, it appears a deep red!

 

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