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Friday, January 20, 2023


Southern Skywatch January 2023 edition is now out!

 Evening sky on Monday, January 23 as seen from Adelaide at 21:16 ACDST, (45 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen). Venus is low above the horizon close to Saturn with the thin crescent Moon nearby.You will need a low, unobstructed horizon to see Venus clearly. You may need binoculars to glimpse Saturn.


Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (45 minutes after sunset).

The January edition of Southern Skywatch is now up. 

This month Venus, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars grace the evening sky. Saturn is soon lost to view and Mercury is visible in the morning skies.

January 3; the Moon is close to Mars. January 7; Full Moon. January 5; Earth at perihelion. January 8; apogee Moon. January 15; Last Quarter Moon. January 21; the thin crescent moon near Mercury in the morning sky. January 22; New Moon. January 22; Moon at perigee. January 23; the crescent Moon is close to Saturn and Venus low in the twilight. January 26; the crescent Moon is close to Jupiter. January 29; First Quarter Moon. January 31; the Moon is close to Mars again.

Mercury is in the morning sky, and is readily visible in the eastern morning twilight from about mid month. Mercury is at its furthest from the Sun on the 30th, when it is highest above the horizon. On the 20th and then the 21st the thin crescent Moon is near Mercury. 

Venus Venus is in the western twilight and is visible an hour after sunset by the end of the month. Saturn is above Venus and comes closer towards the end of the month. On the 22nd and 23th Venus is less than a finger-width from Saturn, on the 23rd the pair are joined by the thin crescent Moon. You will probably need binoculars to see Saturn, and a level, unobstructed horizon the see Venus at it's best. 

Earth is at perihelion on 5 January when it is closest to the Sun.

 Mars spends January forming a triangle with the bright red star Aldebaran and the beautiful Pleiades star cluster. While Mars continues to dim after opposition last month, it remains one of the brightest objects in the sky and easily recognizable. On the 3rd and 31st Mars is close to the waxing Moon. 

Jupiter is lowering into the western evening sky, it is still easily recognizable as the brightest object in the early evening sky (after Venus sets in the twilight). On the 26th Jupiter is near the crescent Moon.  

Saturn is low in the evening twilight then is lost to view in late January. During the month Saturn comes closer to Venus, and on the 22d and 23rd the pair are less than a finger-width apart. On the 23rd the thin crescent Moon joins the pair. You will need binoculars to see Saturn and a level, unobstructed horizon will be needed to see the pair at their best.




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