Wednesday, January 15, 2014


A New Year and my backyard Sky is still full of Stars! The City is growning and there is a lot more light pollution that dims some areas in the low sky around my backyard. My schedule has changed a bit and I will not be able to make the monthly meetings and I have cut back on the Events on the Hill at the TPML. That said, I still will follow the constellations as they move across my Portal to the Universe.

Last night I viewd the Moon, Jupiter and the Orion Constellation. The Moon is getting bigger and the stars that make shapes are getting dimmer. But we are enjoying some Clear Nights for a change! Saturn is visible in the early hours before sunrise.
This month brings lots of great shapes and bright stars in the night Sky.
Here is this month's Events listed by date I picked up from the Net:

01- The extremely thin crescent 12-15 hour old Moon will present a challenge for North American viewers low to the west at dusk.

03- Quadrantid meteors peak with a ZHR=120 at ~05:00 UT, best seen from the Atlantic region. Favorable in 2014, with the Moon a 2 day old waxing crescent.

04- Earth reaches perihelion at 12:00 UT, 147.1 million kilometres from the Sun.

04- Mars passes 1.3’ from the +11.5th magnitude galaxy NGC 4684.

05- Jupiter reaches opposition for 2014 and shines at magnitude -2.7.

10- A Possible meteor shower due to dust from the Comet (formerly known as) ISON over the next few days?

11- Venus reaches inferior conjunction between the Sun and the Earth, shining at -4th magnitude. It may be just possible to spot it five degrees north of the solar limb from high northern latitudes.

13- Moon reaches its farthest northern declination for 2014 a 19.4 degrees.

16- The most distant Full Moon, and visually smallest Full Moon of 2014 occurs, with the Moon reaching Full within two hours of apogee. MiniMoon!

25- The Moon occults Saturn for the South Pacific at ~13:58 UT.

27- The Moon reaches its farthest southern declination for 2014, at -19.3 degrees.

30- A Black Moon occurs, as reckoned as the second New Moon in a month with two.

31- Mercury reaches a favorable elongation, shining at magnitude -0.9, 18.4 degrees east of the Sun.