What's in the Sky Tonight?

Video Tours of the Night Sky
Dec 2017
Jan 2018

JANUARY 2018

Saturn and Mercury rise together every morning before sunrise in the southeastern sky. Over the course of the month, the two planets shift position. They appear to converge in the middle of the month, and then slowly swap places.

Bright Jupiter and reddish Mars rise together a few hours before the Sun in the southern sky. On the morning of January 6, they appear less than half a degree apart, and can be seen in the same field of view in a backyard telescope.

The Quadrantid meteor shower peaks on the night spanning January 3 and 4. Skywatchers who brave the cold might spot up to 40 meteors per hour.

The Pleiades star cluster can be seen overhead. Large and bright, this star cluster is the best known in the sky and is often called “the Seven Sisters.” The unaided eye can see just six or seven stars, but the Pleiades cluster contains over 250. Binoculars showcase the cluster at its best.

ASTRONOMY BINOCULARS
A mini telescope you can take anywhere

Our Favorite Astronomical Binoculars


Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter

$60 range

If you love sky gazing, you have to have a pair of astronomy binoculars! Binoculars are a fantastic alternative to telescopes—inexpensive, lightweight, and portable. For city dwellers where there is a lot of light pollution, binoculars are essential if you want to see much of anything.

Binoculars enlarge and brighten the beauty and immensity of the night sky. You can see the detail of the moon's craters, the phases of Venus, the moons and stripes of Jupiter, the awesome jewels that dot the Milky Way, nebulae, star clusters, and comets when they're passing near.

Our favorite astonomy binoculars is the Celestron SkGiyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars. These are excellent as well:




ANOTHER GREAT ASTRONOMICAL TOOL:

THE PLANISPHERE
A year-round, real-time sky map

planisphere star locator mapA planisphere is a rotating star chart that allows you to dial in the entire visible sky for any day and time of the year and with great precision. It has been called an analog star computer and was considered magical in ancient times.

Planispheres show the brightest stars, constellations, notable galaxies and nebulae, as well as the path of the Milky Way. The plane of the ecliptic is also shown, which reveals the pathway of the planets as they appear to move across the night sky.


PLANISPHERES AND STAR MAPS



$13.77
Orion 04110 Star Target Planisphere
Designed for use within 30 degrees North and 50 degrees North latitudes regardless of calendar year - shows locations of 100 star clusters, nebulas and galaxies.
> more info




$12.43
Night SkyŽ Star Wheel
Cardboard star wheel chart with moveable dial displays the positions of the stars at any time of the day and on any day of the year; shows only the brightest stars, anywhere between north latitudes 30 and 50.
> more info




$18.64
Guide to the Stars Map
This 16-inch diameter plastic Guide to the Stars chart can be used anywhere in the world between latitudes 30 and 60 degrees North.
> more info




$7.95
Star and Planet Locator Map
A roadmap of the night sky and accompanying booklet shows the location of stars, planets and constellations in your night sky when you dial in the exact hour and date.
> more info




$14.08
Firefly Planisphere: Latitude 42 Degrees North
Sturdy construction, smooth wheel rotation, easy-to-read booklet and protective pocket
> more info