Astronomy news for the two weeks starting Friday, January 27,
The next skylights will appear February 10.
Skylights has been produced in various forms for
31 years, since 1985, and even before that as an annual
bulletin. It's now time to simplify Skylights and bring part of
it to a close. We will continue to list lunar phases, planetary
passages, and other significant events for the coming two weeks
on this website, but by bullet, not by prose text. Because there will no
longer be any script, the telephone and emailing services have been dropped.
The Star of the Week will continue as before, as will the Photo of the Week.
Thanks all for your support.
Having just passed new, during the next two weeks the
Moon runs through its waxing phases.
New Moon, Friday, January 27.
First quarter Moon, Friday, February 3, around midnight
with the Moon high in the sky
Full Moon, Friday, February 10.
Penumbral eclipse will slightly dim northern limb of Moon;
visible only in far NE US and Canada. Mid eclipse 6:43 PM CST.
Moon at perigee, closest to Earth
Spectacular grouping of Mars, Venus, and waxing
crescent, Tuesday, Jan. 31, enhanced by earthlight on the Moon
Moon makes fine triangle with Pleiades to north and Hyades to east, Wed., Feb. 4. Moon east of
Aldebaran the following night.
Venus, visible in bright evening twilight, dominates
Just to the east of Venus, Mars sets about 9:30 PM.
Saturn rises about 4AM, while much brighter Jupiter
transits the meridian a half hour
Jupiter, just above Spica in Virgo, begins retrograde (westerly), motion against
Sun and Earth
Groundhog Day, Thurs., Feb. 2; Sun midway from winter
solstice to vernal equinox.
Orion, with his three-star belt dominates the stellar sky,
Betelgeuse to the upper left, Rigel to the lower right. Just up
and to the right of Rigel, is Cursa, Beta Eridani, which begins
Eridanus the River. The River
then meanders off to the south and west, ending in bright Achernar. Sirius, the sky's brightest star,
lies southeast of Orion. If you live in the far southern US, you
might spot Canopus, the second
brightest. Then see the Big
Dipper rise in the northeast as the stars of the Andromeda myth fall to the