Presenting the highlights of the January 2017 night sky. Check back each month for astronomy summary of bright planets, stargazing events, Full Moon, conjunctions, meteor showers, solstices, equinoxes, and eclipses, courtesy of The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Sky Watch January 2017
by Bob Berman, as featured in The 2017 Old Farmer’s Almanac. (Note: Times listed below are ET.)
January highlights of the night sky:
An eventful celestial year begins splendidly, with dazzling Venus in Aquarius, high in the west at nightfall.
- The crescent Moon dangles below it on the 1st.
- On the 2nd, the Moon hovers between Venus and much less brilliant, first-magnitude Mars. Earth reaches its annual closest approach to the Sun on the 4th.
- Mercury begins a mediocre morning star apparition on the 6th; it’s best viewed in midmonth.
- Jupiter, in Virgo, rises at 1:00 a.m. and is highest before dawn.
- Saturn, in Ophiuchus, starts 2017 in the low predawn east. It hangs below the crescent Moon on the 24th.
- The Moon stands below Venus on the 30th and forms a lovely triangle with Venus and Mars on the 31st, in Pisces.
For a full year of Sky Watch—plus astronomical information—pick up a copy of The 2017 Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Sky Map January 2017
We offer printable sky maps, too, to help you know what you’re seeing when you look up!