Start Howling!! New Moon Rising!
4th Jan 2011 signifies the beginning and first phase of the January Full Wolf Moon which will reach its moment of glory 19 January 2011.
Also on January 4th the Moon also passes in front of a portion of the Sun creating a partial eclipse, one of four throughout the year but the only one visible from Europe, Africa and E Asia, and from London at 07:47.
The convenient darkness of the New Moon makes this an ideal time to view the Quadrantid Meteor Shower on 3/4th January which with up to 90 meteors/hour will be the best and brightest shower of the New Year. So don’t forget to go check it out! It originates from a region of space between constellations Bootes and Antares and was once a constellation itself known as “Quadrans Muralis” from which stems its present name.
The beginning of the New Year is also a great time to view Venus in the dawn sky where it can be seen shining brighter than the sun. NB Stars twinkle, planets don’t. So out with those dusty little back garden telescopes!
And for the late riser...Jan 3 Jupiter, that big gassy planet can be seen in the South Western skies through that same dusty old telescope or a pair of binoculars. It’s the brightest “star” in the sky so no excuses!
For the dog lovers and wolfie types amongst us Sirius The Dog Star can be seen burning low in the SE sky in the constellation Canis Major The Great Dog and larger of Orion’s two hunting dogs.