Minnesota Starwatch

by Deane Morrison

The new year opens with four of the five bright planets in the morning sky. By the end of January, all five will be strung across the predawn firmament.

The month starts with Venus blazing away in the southeast an hour before dawn. Dimmer Saturn is to the lower left, and Antares, the bright red heart of Scorpius, smolders to the lower right of the ringed planet. Both quickly climb past Venus. Look on the 6th and 7th for a lovely lineup of Venus, Saturn, and a waning moon, and also on the 9th, when Saturn appears less than a moon’s width from the brilliant planet.

High in the southwest, Jupiter also shines brightly. About midway between Jupiter and Venus is a pair of objects: reddish Mars on the left and Spica, the brightest star in Virgo, on the right. These two move apart as the days go by. Also, by the 25th you may be able to spot Mercury just above the horizon, below and left of Venus. That gives us a planetary string in the order (southeast to southwest) of Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter. The lineup will continue into the early days of February.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

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