Current Night Sky: January 2020

Earth reaches perihelion – its closest distance to the Sun – at 3:00 am EST on January 5, when the two bodies are separated by 91.4 million miles (147.1 million km).

There is a penumbral lunar eclipse on January 20, visible from Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

The Moon & Planets: 
sky chart
Evening Planets (after sunset): 
  • Mercury, SW
  • Venus, SW
  • Neptune, SW
  • Uranus, S
Morning Planets (before sunrise): 
  • Jupiter, SE
  • Saturn, SE
  • Mercury, SE

There are no comets brighter than magnitude 8 currently visible.


The Quadrantid meteors peak on January 4. The Moon will not be in the sky, and rates under ideal circumstances may reach 120 meteors per hour.

Phases of the Moon: 
First Quarter Moon January 2 11:45 pm EST
Full Moon January 10 2:21 pm EST
Last Quarter Moon January 17 7:58 am EST
New Moon January 24 4:42 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.