11
Jan 15

Mercury and Venus in Conjunction in January

Source: Astronomy Magazine

150106-004-Venus-MercuryVenus & Mercury at dusk on the 6th of January.
Image credits: Derek Rowley.

Mercury reaches greatest elongation on 14th of January, when it lies 19° east of the Sun and hangs 10° above the southwestern horizon a half-hour after sunset. Although the innermost planet glows brightly, at magnitude –0.7, the easiest way to find it is to look 1.3° to the right of brilliant Venus. Binoculars will show you the pair best. When viewed through a telescope, Mercury appears 7" across and slightly more than half-lit.

MercuryandVenusUse brilliant Venus as a guide to its fainter companion Mercury on the 14th of January.
Image credits: Astronomy/Roen Kelly.

 

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11
Jan 15

Don't miss comet Lovejoy

Source: Universe Today

Lovejoy-photo-chart-Orion_V4Comet Lovejoy’s nightly position among the winter stars through January 19.
Image credit: Bob King.

Beautiful New Year’s comet – Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy – passed closest to Earth on January 7, 2015 and therefore (probably) now appears at its brightest in our sky. On January 7, it was 70.2 million km away and shining at an apparent magnitude of +4. Many across the globe have already seen this comet as it has brightened in recent weeks. Plus, the moon is no longer a hindrance. More good news. The comet has been moving northward on the sky’s dome. On January 9, it crossed over into the easy-to-find constellation Taurus (the Bull). Look to the photo above to try to spot it in the night sky. (learn more)

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