What To Watch For In The Night Sky This Week: January 17-23, 2022
Are you ready for 2022’s first full Moon? The “Wolf Moon” will be fully illuminated by the Sun this week, rising at dusk in the east and setting at sunrise in the west the following morning. It’s also a good week to witness the rise into early evening skies of Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, and (when the full Moon has waned) to study the stars and deep sky sights of the constellation of of Gemini.
Monday, January 17, 2022: A full ‘Wolf Moon in Gemini
The full Wolf Moon will be 100% lit by the Sun today at exactly 23:48 UTC—that’s 18:48 EST and 15:48 PST. However, the time to look at it is as it rises. Check the exact moonrise time for your location then look to the northeast.
Tuesday, January 18, 2022: Another view of the full-ish Moon
Although last night was officially “full Moon” night you can just as easily check-out the full disk of our natural satellite tonight. Check the moonrise time for your location, which will be after dark.
Wednesday, January 19, 2022: Sirius rising
The brightest star in the night sky is becoming increasingly easy to see immediately after sunset. Look to the east to see it appear directly below the three stars of Orion’s Belt.
Saturday, January 22, 2022: Nights get dark
After a week of a waning full Moon tonight’s the night that the skies are plenty dark enough, and late enough, to re-start your stargazing.
Constellation of the week: Gemini
Once the Moon has shown you where Gemini is—and then exited stage left—try to get eyes-on with “The Twins” in dark skies. It is one of the 12 constellations that lie in the path of Earth’s orbit around the Sun and also one that gets frequently visited by the Moon.
Object of the week: M35 open cluster
A busy open cluster of stars, M35 requires binoculars if you’re in a town or city. A small misty patch near about 2,800 light years distant, M35 is close to a star called Tejat Posterior at the back foot of Castor—one of the bright stars in Gemini. Binoculars will get you a view of some prominent stars against a background of about 100.
Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.
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