January 2007 Astronomical Calander Dec 31, 2006 15:00:53 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Dec 31, 2006 15:00:53 GMT -6
January 2007 Astronmical Events
Note: All times in UTC (EST + 5)1/2
The Moon occults the second magnitude star El Nath (Beta Tauri) for observers in northern South America and the southern Caribbean at 1:00; a maximum lunar libration of 8.0 degrees occurs at 18:00
1/3 The Quadrantid meteor shower (40 or more per hour) peaks at 1:00; Full Moon (known as the Ice Moon, the Moon After Yule, the Old Moon, and the Wolf Moon) occurs at 13:57; the Earth is at perihelion (147,093,630 kilometers distant from the Sun), at 20:00
1/4 Jupiter is 5 degrees north the first magnitude star Antares (Alpha Scorpii) at 5:00
1/5 The Moon is 1.8 degrees north of the bright open cluster M44 (the Beehive Cluster or Prasepe) in Cancer at 10:00
1/6 Saturn (magnitude 0.4) is 0.9 degree south of the Moon - an occultation is visible from northeastern Europe and Siberia - at 18:00
1/7 The Moon is 1.2 degrees north of the first magnitude star Regulus (Alpha Leonis) - an occultation is visible from western Russia and northeastern Europe - at 5:00; Mercury is in superior conjunction with the Sun at 6:00
1/9 A minimum lunar libration of 1.5 degrees occurs at 13:00
1/10 The Moon is at apogee, subtending 29'33" from a distance of 404,334 kilometers, at 16:25
1/11 Last Quarter Moon occurs at 12:45; the Moon is 1.1 degrees south of the first magnitude star Spica (Alpha Virginis) - an occultation is visible from the southeastern Indian Ocean and Antarctica - at 20:00
1/15 The Moon is 0.5 degree south of Antares - an occultation is visible from southern Africa, southern Chile, and Patagonia - at 13:00; Jupiter is 6 degrees north of the Moon at 17:00
1/16 A maximum lunar libration of 8.7 degrees occurs at 7:00
1/17 Mercury is at its greatest heliocentric latitude south today; a double Galilean satellite shadow transit (the shadow of Ganymede followed by Io*s) begins at 0:52 and ends at 2:36; Mars is 5 degrees north of the Moon at 2:00
1/18 Mars is 0.5 degree north of the bright emission nebula M8 (the Lagoon Nebula) at 4:00; Venus is 1.4 degrees south of Neptune at 18:00
1/19 Venus is at its greatest heliocentric latitude south today; New Moon (lunation 1040) occurs at 4:01
1/20 Neptune is 2.0 degrees north of the Moon at 13:00; Venus (magnitude -3.3) is 0.8 degree north of the Moon - an occultation is visible from southwestern Africa, most of Antarctica, and the southernmost portion of South America - at 17:00
1/22 Uranus is 0.4 degree north of the Moon - an occultation is visible from Japan, the Philippine Islands, Indonesia, and the eastern Indian Ocean - at 6:00; the Moon is at perigee, subtending 32'34" from a distance of 366,927 kilometers, at 12:31. A minimum lunar libration of 0.5 degree occurs at 18:00.
1/24 A double Galilean satellite shadow transit (the shadow of Io followed by Ganymede*s) begins at 4:30 and ends at 4:58
1/25 The First Quarter Moon occurs at 23:01
1/27 The Moon is 0.9 degree north of the bright open cluster M45 (the Pleiades) in Taurus - an occultation is visible from northern Europe - at 17:00
1/28 Asteroid 1 Ceres is approximately 19' south of the third magnitude star Skat (Delta Aquarii) at 6:00
1/29 The Moon occults El Nath for observers in the central Pacific Ocean and Hawaii at 9:00. A maximum lunar libration of 8.3 degrees occurs at 13:00.
Bright moonlight from the Full Moon will severely compromise the Quadrantid meteor shower on the night of January 3. The radiant of the Quadrantids is the constellation of Boötes. The shower can sometimes reach zenithal hourly rates as high as 120 meteors per hour.
The Moon is at its greatest declination north of +28 degrees on January 2 and January 29 and greatest declination south of -28 degrees on January 16. Times and dates for the lunar crater light rays predicted to occur this month are available at www.lunar-occultations.com/rlo/rays/rays.htm
Data (magnitude, apparent size, illumination, distance from the Earth in astronomical units) for the planets and Pluto on January 1: Mercury (-1.1, 4.7", 99%, Sagittarius, 1.4 a.u.), Venus (-3.9, 10.3", 96%, Sagittarius, 1.6 a.u.), Mars (1.5, 3.9", 99%, Ophiuchus, 2.4 a.u.), Jupiter (-1.8, 31.9", 100%, Ophiuchus, 6.2 a.u.), Saturn (0.2, 19.7", 100%, Leo, 8.4 a.u.), Uranus (5.9, 3.4", 100%, Aquarius, 20.6 a.u.), Neptune (8.0, 2.2", 100%, Capricornus, 30.8 a.u.), and Pluto (14.0 magnitude, 0.1", 100% illuminated, Sagittarius, 32.2 a.u.).
In the latter part of January, Mercury can be seen very low in the southwest during evening twilight. On January 22, Mercury (magnitude -1.1) is 10 degrees to the southwest of Venus (magnitude -3.9). By January 31, Mercury lies only 7 degrees to the southwest of the brightest planet.
Venus is 6 degrees high a half hour after the Sun sets on January 1. It sets at 7:00 p.m. EST in the middle of January for observers at our latitude of 40 degrees north. As the month progresses, the planet continues to improve in visibility. It is situated 10 degrees above the southwestern horizon at the end of January and can be seen for nearly two hours after sunset.
When the Earth reaches perihelion on January 3, it is closer to the Sun (0.9832602 a.u.) than it will be from 1996 to 2020.
Mars leaves Ophiuchus and enters Sagittarius on January 11. At midmonth, it rises in the southeast at 6:00 a.m. EST. The Red Planet crosses between M8 (the Lagoon Nebula) and M20 (the Trifid Nebula) on the nights of January 17 and January 18. It is located 3 degrees north of the second magnitude star Nunki (Sigma Sagittarii) at month*s end. Mars is a morning planet for most of 2007.
Uranus can still be seen immediately after dark in early January. It is situated low in the southwest about one degree northeast of the fourth magnitude star Lambda Aquarii.
Neptune is lost in the glow of sunset during January.
Pluto is also not observable this month.
The periodic comet 4P/Faye leaves northern Cetus and heads eastward into the southwestern portion of Taurus during January. The tenth magnitude comet is approximately one degree north of the magnitude 2.5 star Menkar (Alpha Ceti) from January 9 through January 11.