January 2014 – Skygazing

A New Year – a great opportunity to see some familiar sights in the sky and perhaps some that are new to you as well. Get outside and look-up! Even during the day there’s lots to see from exciting cloud formations to sensational colours as the Sun rises and sets. After the Winter solstice, the days are getting longer again – a chance to recharge the batteries during the day with a little extra light!

This January, the BBC once again run Stargazing Live. Dara O’Briain and Brian Cox are back with the popular astronomy show to highlight some of the amazing things to be found in the night sky and the great advances being made in peering out into space.

 

The Night Sky

This image shows what the night sky looks like on 1st January 2014 at midnight from Glasgow, UK. The sky will look similar at the same time through the month (you can click on it to make the image bigger).

The overhead night sky from Glasgow, UK at midnight on 1st January 2014. Made using Stellarium.

The overhead night sky from Glasgow, UK at midnight on 1st January 2014. Made using Stellarium.

Prominent in the sky from the northern hemisphere in January are the constellations of Orion, Taurus and Gemini.

The planet Jupiter reaches opposition on 5th January 2014. The giant planet will be fully lit up by the Sun and appear very bright. Look out for it as a steady point of light beside the scintillating stars Castor and Pollux (of Gemini).

The Quadrantids meteor shower peaks early at the start of the month. Peaking around the evening of the 2nd into the morning of the 3rd January, given a clear night, you might see around 40 shooting stars an hour. They radiate from the direction of the constellation, Boötes, but simply get comfy and look up to get a wide field of view of the sky.

Also, look out for the familiar ‘W’ shape of Cassiopeia and try finding ‘The Plough’ in order to work out what direction you’re facing.

Using The Plough to find Polaris and North.

Using The Plough to find Polaris and North.

Astronomy Books

Got some gift vouchers from Christmas and want to find out more about astronomy? Check out these fantastic books about astronomy which are accessible for all levels and highly recommended.

Sunrise and Sunset times, Glasgow

  • 1st January 2014 – Sunrise 08:47 Sunset 15:54

  • 8th January 2014 – Sunrise 08:44 Sunset 16:04

  • 16th January 2014 – Sunrise 08:36 Sunset 16:18

  • 24th January 2014 – Sunrise 08:25 Sunset 16:33

  • 30th January 2014 – Sunrise 08:15 Sunset 16:46

Times are listed are local to Glasgow.

Moon Phases

  • New Moon – 1st January 2014, 11:14

  • First Quarter – 8th January 2014, 03:40

  • Full Moon – 16th January 2014, 04:53

  • Last Quarter – 24th January 2014, 05:19

  • New Moon – 30th January 2014, 21:39

Times are listed are local to Glasgow.

Happy skygazing during January 2014!

About Derek Shirlaw

I'm passionate about science communication, social media, and my home country, Scotland. In particular, I have a real interest in astronomy, digital marketing, and the great outdoors.
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