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Look up! Here are the can’t miss events in the night sky this January

Stargazers will want to mark their calendars.
Astronomical Events - January
Astronomical Events - January(WMTV NBC15)
Published: Jan. 2, 2021 at 9:35 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Get ready to mark your calendars, stargazers! Here is a list of events you’re going to want to check out in the night sky this January.

Quadrantids Meteor Shower

The Quadrantids meteor shower will peak the night of January 2 and the morning January 3. This will not be the best year to watch the Quadrantids meteor shower because the moon will be in its waning gibbous phase. The moon will be over 80 percent full and wash out the fainter meteors. In a typical year, stargazers can expect to see 40 meteors per hour at its peak. This year’s rates probably won’t be as high. The Quadrantids meteor shower is associated with the extinct comet 2003 EH1.

Unfortunately, stargazers are going to have to deal with more than just bright moonlight this year. Mostly cloudy skies are expected across south central Wisconsin Saturday night. The clouds will likely obstruct most people’s view of the meteor shower.

Quadrantids Meteor Shower - Viewing Potential
Quadrantids Meteor Shower - Viewing Potential(WMTV NBC15)

Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation

One of the best times of the year to view Mercury will be January 24. On January 24, Mercury will reach its greatest elongation of 18.6 degrees from the sun.

In astronomy, a planet’s elongation is the angular distance between the sun and the planet with Earth as the reference point. The planet will appear farthest from the sun when it is as its greatest elongation.

Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation
Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation(WMTV NBC15)

The best time to view Mercury will be about an hour after sunset on January 24. You’ll want to look low in the western horizon.

Full Moon

The first full moon of 2021 will rise on January 28. January’s full moon is known as the wolf because this is time of year wolves are heard howling.

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