Here are the monthly sky watch highlights. Each month, we share the wonders of the universe to help you explore the night sky from your own backyard. (Note: Times listed below are ET.)
by Bob Berman, as featured in
The Old Farmer's Almanac 
Earth reaches perihelion early in the morning on the 4th. Venus starts the year too low in the solar glare to be readily seen and is in conjunction on the 11th. It will appear as a low morning star most of this year.
The real brillliancy belongs to Jupiter in Gemini, which receives opposition on the 5th; the Giant Planet, at magnitude -2.7, rises at dusk and is out all night.
Mars rises at midnight at magnitude 1.0; it forms a lovely orange contrast with the blue Spica below it. Saturn, at magnitude 0.6, is a morning object, rising at 3:00 A.M. Uranus, in the evening sky, will spend the year in Pisces.