SKY GUY VIEWING ALERT! PRE-DAWN JANUARY 8, 2024 MOON, VENUS, MERCURY, ANTARES

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 Hey, Space Placers!

The waning crescent Moon hangs with Venus, Mercury, and Antares in the dawns of January 7th through 9th. On the 8th the Moon occults Antares in morning darkness for the West Coast. Farther east, the occultation happens in twilight or broad daylight.

Credit: SkyandTelescope.org

From SkyandTelescope.org:

■ On Monday morning the 8th, the waning crescent Moon will occult 1st-magnitude Antares low in the southeast during darkness or dawn for the western U.S. and Canada. The occultation will happen in full daylight for most of the rest North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. In a bright sky the event may be a tough catch even with a telescope, depending on the atmospheric seeing (usually poor in the daytime but often excellent around sunrise) and also the clarity of the air.


Map and timetables for this event. The first two tables, for many cities, are very long. The first gives the times of Antares’s disappearance; the second its reappearance out from behind the Moon’s dark limb. Scroll to be sure you’re using the right table; watch for the new heading as you scroll down. The first two letters in each entry are the country abbreviation (“CA” is Canada, not California). The times are in UT (GMT) January 8th; UT is 5 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, 6 ahead of CST, 7 ahead of MST, and 8 ahead of PST.

For instance: Use the first table to see that for Denver, Antares disappears at 6:43 a.m. MST, when the Sun is 7° below the horizon (bright twilight) and the Moon is 15° above the horizon toward the east-southeast (azimuth 114°).

This is one worth getting top to see. Try imaging with your smartphone and/or camera.

Here is the rest of the week’s sky views.

Sky Guy in VA

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