Sky Watch: January 2018

What to See in the Night Sky

By Bob Berman
January 5, 2018
Universe at Night

Welcome to the January 2018 Sky Watch!  See what to look for in the night sky tonight, including bright planets, the full Moon, and more celestial highlights!

Sky Watch January 2018

by Bob Berman, as featured in The 2018 Old Farmer’s Almanac
(Note: Times listed below are ET.)

What’s in January’s night sky? Here are the highlights:

  • The year begins auspiciously with a full Moon on the 1st that is also the closest Moon of 2018—a so-called “Supermoon.” For more information, see the January Moon Guide.
  • Two days later, on January 3, Earth arrives at its annual near point to the Sun, perihelion.
  • Venus is invisible at superior conjunction on the 9th, but Jupiter, in Libra, is brilliant and up in the east at dawn. The Giant Planet hovers wonderfully close to medium-bright Mars from the 5th to the 8th; they are closest together on the 6th and 7th, and visible after 4:00 A.M.
  • The crescent Moon joins Jupiter and Mars on the 11th. What a beautiful sight!
  • The year’s only eclipse for North America is a lunar totality just before dawn on the 31st. Its total phase can be seen west of the Mississippi and from western Canada. See more information about 2018 eclipses.

Click here for a free sky map to navigate January’s night sky!


The 2018 Old Farmer's Almanac

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