What to see in the sky in January: Wolf Moon, Quadrantids meteors and ISS
- Credit: PA Wire
From the International Space Station to comets and meteors - here are some things to look out for in the sky this month.
Phases for January are as follows:
- New moon - January 2
- First quarter - January 9
- Wolf Moon - January 17
- This moon gets its name from early Native American tribes who observed hungry wolves howling at the moon outside their camps around the same time of year.
- Last quarter - January 25
The Planets and Stars
There was a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn earlier in December and the planets have been slowly separating since.
Mercury will get thrown into the mix in early January, creating a trio in the southwest just after sunset. Jupiter will shine the brightest.
- 1 Meet the man behind a morbid new craze
- 2 Norfolk pub gets booked up every Sunday for its roast dinner platters
- 3 Long stretch of A47 closed overnight due to crash
- 4 18 sights you will remember from Norfolk in the 1980s
- 5 Villagers hope to take on land near their homes
- 6 Norwich venue offering Afternoon Cheese and it looks incredible
- 7 Pressure waves of Hunga Tonga volcanic eruption felt across East Anglia
- 8 New operators take over at council-owned leisure centre
- 9 Custom-built six-bedroom home with indoor slide on the market for £900,000
- 10 Staff and customers gutted after fire badly damages popular takeaway
Saturn will be lost in the middle of the month, leaving only Jupiter and Mercury visible. Mercury will continue to climb through January.
Venus' and Mars' best visibility is at the very end of the month and can both be seen to the southwest. Hunting for Venus can be dangerous, make sure the Sun has gone down before you start looking.
Neptune and Uranus have their best visibility at the very start of the month and are visible in the south-southwest. Uranus is just visible to the naked eye while binoculars will be needed to spot Neptune.
To the northeast the Herdsman constellation will be visible near the Plough. Orion's stars are also easy to spot in the winter sky. Sirius will be among the brightest stars throughout January.
The International Space Station will be visible over the UK from January 23 to 31 from 5.40pm to 6.30pm, it will travel from the west or the southwest to the east and southeast.
The Quadrantids shower can be seen between December 28 and January 12 and will peak on January 3 and 4.
They are characterised as blue meteors with fine trains. There will be approximately 120 meteors an hour.
It is one of three showers a year that have a reliably high rate of meteors. However, Quadrantids meteors are often fainter than others and seen less often due to the narrow time frame of visibility.
Comet 88P/Howell will be visible eastward 90 minutes after sunset. Comet 141P/Machholz 2 will be visible to the south and Comet C/2019 N1 may be seen just south.