Here’s a quick look at what’s going on in the sky during the month of January, 2013:
January 2 — Earth at perehelion (its closest point to the Sun). 8 p.m.
January 3, 4 — – Quadrantids Meteor Shower. A strong shower, radiating from the constellation BoÃ¶tes. Can have up to 40 meteors per hour at its peak. Moonlit skies during peak hours mean lackluster viewing this year.
January 4 — Last Quarter Moon, 10:58 p.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is decreasing.
January 10 — Moon at perigee (its closest point to the Earth).
January 11— New Moon, 2:44 p.m. The Moon is not illuminated by direct sunlight.
January 18— First Quarter Moon, 6:45 p.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is increasing.
January 22 — Moon at apogee (its farthest point from the Earth).
January 26 — Full Moon, 11:38 p.m. The visible Moon is fully illuminated by direct sunlight. Though the Moon is only technically in this phase for a few seconds, it is considered “full” for the entire day of the event, and appears full for three days.