Look Up in the Sky: January 2022

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Mars and the Moon Come Together With Venus Nearby

Venus will have an interesting month. Today and tomorrow (January 8-9), it’s going to be closer to Earth than any planet has been in a century.

🔹It’ll be just 0.266 Astronomical Units or 24.7 million miles away, according to Space.com.

🔹It’ll then appear in the pre-dawn sky later in the month, brightening significantly. You’ll be able to see Venus and the crescent moon together in the pre-dawn sky on January 29-30. They won’t be on top of each other, but they should make a nice tableau in conjunction with Mars, which will be even closer to the moon than Venus. 

All Month: Mars is Back

Mars is coming back into view for us earthlings. It passed out of view behind the sun and is just returning. The red planet will continue to get brighter and rise in the sky over the coming months.

The moon will cross the asterism over a series of nights, as it does each month through the winter, providing a great opportunity to watch the movement of the sky across nights.

🔹The winter hexagon will sit high in the southeastern sky.

🔹If you’re under exceptionally dark skies, the Milky Way cuts through the winter hexagon as well.

🔹The moon hits the western side of the hexagon on January 13 and will trek across it until the night of January 16.

January 17: Full Wolf Moon

The full moon alights on January 17. It’s often called the Wolf Moon and its arrival means you’re going to have some light interference if you’re trying to go out stargazing. 

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

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