January Sky 2013

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mel blakeFLORENCE-As 2014 begins the traditional bright January constellations of Orion, Canis Major and Taurus dominate the sky in the early evening.  These are joined by the planet Jupiter which sits in the middle of Gemini and is visible all night.  Mars is in Virgo and rises near midnight. It will be a prominent object in the spring sky.





Orioncanis_majortaurusjupiter in geminiMars


December Quadrantid Meteors

quadrantidThe August Perseid meteors and the December Geminid meteors are the two most well know meteor showers of the year, bt the Quadrantid meteors which peak on January 3rd rank second in terms s of the total number of meteors per hour predicted. This year the shower occurs near new Moon, making it particular favorable.  The meteors will be best seen on the night of January 3rd and January 4th after about 11PM.  Because the peak is short lived and in in the afternoon, expect about 10 – 20 meteors per hour but the shower has been increasing the last few years.  Peak rates of 120 meteors per hour have been reported for those in favorable locations.  The Quadrantids are named after a constellation that is no longer recognized near Ursa Major, so the meteor will appear to be coming from the northeast.  Like all meteor showers, the meteors will be best viewed from a dark location rather than the city, but dress warmly.

The January Sky for North Alabama

The January Sky for North Alabama

Lunar Phases:

New Moon January 1

1st Quarter Janaury 8

Full Moon January 16

3rd Quarter Janaury 24

New Moon January 30

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