Home > Comet, Ephemeris Program, Month preview, Planets > 01/01/2014 – Ephemeris – A look at events the month and for the next few days and the planets

01/01/2014 – Ephemeris – A look at events the month and for the next few days and the planets

January 1, 2014

Note: The two paragraphs below were aired on IPR.  They are not my usual Wednesday feature on the planets which is in the addendum.  The first few days of January are busy with astronomical happenings.  I’ll have a preview of this year’s eclipses on Monday the 6th with the daily and an extra post.

Ephemeris for New Years Day, Wednesday, January 1st, 2014.  The sun will rise at 8:19.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 53 minutes, setting at 5:13.  The moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

Happy New Year.  We’re too busy with astronomical events to preview the year.  Today and tomorrow we’ll cover the highlights of this month.  We’re a day from the latest sunrise at about the same time as today and will back down to 8:02 by the 31st.  Sunset is current increasing by a minute a day and will set at 5:50 at month’s end.  Listeners on the shore of Lake Michigan will have about the same sunrise time from Ludington to Mackinaw City, but the sunset times will vary markedly.  Jupiter will be in opposition from the sun and rise at sunset on the 4th.  This is your last week to see Venus in the evening sky.  It will leave the evening sky on the 11th and enter the morning sky.  Start looking for the Quadrantid meteor shower that will peak on the 3rd.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.


Star chart

A star chart for January 15th at 9 p.m. Add a half hour to every week before the 15th and subtract and hour for every week after the 15th. Created using my LookingUp program.

For a list of constellation names to go with the abbreviations click here

This is our weekly look at the planets.  Venus is brilliant in the southwest after sunset.  It will set at 6:36 p.m.  Venus is noticeably closing with the sun.  It will be lost in the glare of the sun in less than a week.  Venus is a thin crescent, and we’re at the point where the crescent can be visible in binoculars.  The giant planet Jupiter will rise at 5:24 p.m. in the east northeast.  It’s cruising against the stars of Gemini now.  It will pass due south at 1:04 a.m.  It will be in opposition from the sun on the 4th, where it will rise at sunset and set at sunrise.  Mars will rise at 12:51 a.m. in the east.  Reddish Mars is to the upper right of the bright star Spica in Virgo.  Saturn will rise at 4:12 a.m. in the east southeast.  It will be in Libra this year.  The ringed planet will best be seen in the evening next summer.  There is a comet visible in binoculars in the morning sky.  It’s Comet Lovejoy (C/2013R1).


Venus in the west southwest at 6 p.m. on January 1, 2014. Venus will be harder and harder to spot between now and its inferior conjunction with the sun on the 11th. Created using Stellarium.


Telescopic Venus

Venus’ thin crescent on January 1, 2014 at 6 p.m. The crescent will be bright but the night side will not be visible as Stellarium suggests. Created using Stellarium.


Jupiter and the constellations of winter at 9 p.m. on January 1, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Jupiter

Jupiter and its satellites as seen in a telescope at 9 p.m. on January 1, 2014. That actual rotation of the image depends on the telescope. Created using Stellarium.

Mars Saturn

Mars and Saturn among the spring constellations at 6 a.m. January 2, 2014. Created using Stellarium.


Comet Lovejoy

The track of Comet Lovejoy, which still should be visible in binoculars from 01/02/14 to 01/31/14 at 6:30 a.m. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

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