Science

January 2023 night sky: Wolf Moon and Quadrantids shower

From a prolific meteor shower to the first full moon of the year – here are some things to look out for in the sky this month.

The Moon

Phases for January are as follows:

  • Wolf Moon – January 6
    • This moon gets its name from early Native American tribes who observed hungry wolves howling at the moon outside their camps around the same time of year.
    • Last quarter – January 15
    • New moon – January 21
    • First quarter – January 28

The planets and stars

Mars is at its brightest at the beginning of this month with Venus appearing brighter and higher each evening.

There will also be two close meetings between the moon and Mars after their conjunction in December.

Jupiter will become bright near the moon in the evenings at the end of the month.

The brightest stars will be Orion’s Belt and Sirius, both of which should be easy to spot.

Quadrantids meteor shower

The Quadrantids shower can be seen between December 28 and January 12 and will peak on January 3 and 4.

The meteors are characterized as blue meteors with fine trains. There will be approximately 120 meteors an hour.

It is one of three showers a year that have a reliably high rate of meteors.

Quadrantids meteors are often fainter than others and seen less often due to the narrow time frame of visibility.

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