Current Night Sky: January 2019

Earth reaches perihelion – its closest distance to the Sun – at midnight EST on January 3, when the two bodies will be separated by 91.4 million miles (147.1 million km).

There is a partial solar eclipse on January 5-6, visible from parts of eastern Asia and the western Pacific.

There is a total lunar eclipse on January 20-21, visible in its entirety from the Western Hemisphere.

The Moon & Planets: 
Earth orbit
Quadrantid meteor chart
Moon and Venus
Evening Planets (after sunset): 
  • Neptune, SW
  • Mars, SW
  • Uranus, SW
Morning Planets (before sunrise): 
  • Venus, SE
  • Jupiter, SE
  • Saturn, SE
  • Mercury, SE
Comets: 

Comet 46P Wirtanen should remain above the threshold of naked eye visibility until mid-January. It is circumpolar for observers at mid-northern latitudes. The Moon may swamp the comet's faint glow during the second half of the month.

Meteors: 

The Quadrantid meteors peak on January 3. The narrow crescent Moon doesn't rise until almost sunrise, so the shower should be a good one; expect to see up to 60 – 200 meteors per hour under ideal conditions.

Phases of the Moon: 
New Moon January 5 8:28 pm EST
First Quarter Moon January 14 1:46 am EST
Full Moon January 21 12:16 am EST
Last Quarter Moon January 27 4:10 pm EST

Text, graphics, and animations by John Sheff. Graphics courtesy of Starry Night(©) Pro Plus 7 / Imaginova(©) Corp. Starry Night images are used with permission from Imaginova Corp. Starry Night is a registered trademark of Imaginova Corp. Star charts generated by Starry Night Pro Plus 7 © Imaginova Corp. All rights reserved. www.StarryNight.com