Consider a planetarium program to help you plan your observations. There are many commercial products available; an excellent program (STELLARIUM) is available free at http://www.stellarium.org/.
Venus and Jupiter continue their celestial dance this week before dawn in the east. The following photo (January 2nd) shows Venus (at top), with the Moon and Jupiter lined up nicely. Antares (in Scorpio) is to the lower right (west) of Jupiter.
Winter is here! The Pleiades (photo) and Orion are high in the east as darkness falls.
Venus is at greatest western elongation above the eastern horizon this morning. It is 47 degrees from the Sun.
Mercury (in Sagittarius)
Mercury is dropping out of sight into the glare of sunrise, but it may be visible with binoculars well below Jupiter during the early part of the week.
On January 4th, I captured the very thin crescent Moon only a day or so before New Moon. That’s Mercury to the lower right.
Venus (in Libra)
Venus is very bright and rises a couple of hours before sunrise in the east-southeast – see above photo. Jupiter will be below Venus to the left (east). (Telescope tip: To view the crescent Venus without the glare, wait until the planet is high in the blue sky. Watch out for the Sun!).
Mars (in Pisces)
Mars is in its best viewing position in the south about just after dark (under the Great Square of Pegasus) – it sets around 11 p.m.
Jupiter (in Ophiuchus)
Look for Jupiter to the lower left (east) of Venus in the pre-dawn eastern sky. Reddish Antares (in Scorpio) will be to Jupiter’s right (west) – see above photo for reference.
Saturn (in Sagittarius)
The ringed planet is currently lost in the glare of the sunset.
Uranus (in Aries/Pisces)
Look in the south just after dark. Check out the Sky & Telescope finder chart noted below. (Uranus is easily visible with quality binoculars.)
Neptune (in Aquarius)
Look in the southwest just after dark. Finder charts for Uranus and Neptune may be found at http://wwwcdn.skyandtelescope.com/wp-content/uploads/WEB_UrNep18.pdf.
SCAS UPCOMING EVENTS
The next Membership Meeting will be on Thursday, January 17th, at 6:30 p.m. in the Bret Kelly B conference room at the Rawlings Public Library. There will be a presentation on lunar eclipses (getting ready for the total lunar eclipse on January 20th!!!), followed by a discussion regarding free, self-directed programs offered by the Astronomical League.
FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION REGARDING SCAS ACTIVITIES, REFER TO THE SCAS WEBSITE AT http://www.scaspueblo.com/CalendarMain.html.
Pueblo West, Colorado