Watch The Brightest Planets Light Up The Night Sky This January
Look up, sky watchers! Here is a list of the night sky's brightest planets and where they are located this month.
Space.com reported that all of the other planets except Uranus will be visible in the night sky this January. Find these astronomical bodies with the use of binoculars, a nice star chart or mobile astronomy apps and get ready to be stunned.
On Jan. 19, Mercury will be at its greatest morning elongation located 24 degrees from the Sun. By the end of the month, the planet closest to the Solar System's main star will appear 5 degrees southeast the Moon just before sunrise.
Venus will be at its highest point in the night sky on the evening of Jan. 12. To enjoy the telescopic view, take a peak of the planet just before the sky darkens. Venus will appear less than 23 degrees northeast of Neptune so it would be a great visual treat to see both planets in the same field of view at the same time. The Earth's sister planet will be bright all throughout January and will stay up for about four hours after sundown.
For the whole month, Mars will also appear near Venus with the closest proximity within 5.5 degrees from each other from Jan. 30 to Feb. 4. One could tell their difference by Venus' sparkling white and Mars' ochre-orange colors. However, Venus will outshine the dimming Red Planet 191 times by the end of the month.
At around 12:45 a.m. on Jan. 15 and 11 p.m. on Jan. 31, Jupiter will shine twice as bright at the star Sirius appearing 4 degrees southeast of a dimmer star Spica. However, it best to watch the Solar System's largest planet at around morning twilight through the telescope. Furthermore, Jupiter will appear 2 degrees to 3 degrees southeast of the Moon just after midnight on Jan. 19.
On Jan. 24, Saturn will appear just around 1 a half hours before sunrise 3 degrees to the Moon's lower right. Toward the end of the month, the ringed planet will look brighter 12 degrees to the left of the star Antares -- the heart of the constellation Scorpius -- and will be the only bright night sky object within the constellation Ophiuchus.