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Best Night Sky Events of January 2016 (Stargazing Maps)

Last Quarter Moon, January 2016

Starry Night Software

See what's up in the night sky for December 2015, including stargazing events and the moon's phases, in this Space.com gallery courtesy of Starry Night Software. HERE:Saturday, January 2, 12:30 a.m. EST. The Last Quarter Moon rises around 12:30 a.m. and sets around 12:30 p.m. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky.

New Moon, January 2016

Starry Night Software

Saturday, January 9, 8:31 p.m. EST. The moon is not visible on the date of New Moon because it is too close to the sun, but can be seen low in the east as a narrow crescent a morning or two before, just before sunrise. It is visible low in the west an evening or two after New Moon.

First Quarter Moon, January 2016

Starry Night Software

Saturday, January 16, 6:26 p.m. EST. The First Quarter Moon rises around 11:30 a.m. and sets around 1 a.m. It dominates the evening sky.

Full Moon, January 2016

Starry Night Software

Saturday, January 23, 8:46 p.m. EST . The January Full Moon is known as the Wolf Moon or Old Moon. It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise; this is the only night in the month when the moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky.

Last Quarter Moon (2nd), January 2016

Starry Night Software

Sunday, January 31, 10:28 p.m. EST. The Last Quarter Moon rises around 1 a.m. and sets around noon. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky.

Comet Catalina and Arcturus, January 2016

Starry Night Software

Friday, January 1, dawn. Comet Catalina will pass very close to the bright star Arcturus in Boötes. It will spend most of the month close to the Big Dipper.

Mars and the Moon, January 2016

Starry Night Software

Sunday, January 3, dawn. Mars will be 3 degrees east of the moon.

Quadrantid Meteors, January 2016

Starry Night Software

Monday, January 4, midnight to dawn. The Quadrantid meteor shower, one of the most reliable in the year, peaks 3 a.m. on January 4, so the best times to observe will be between midnight and dawn on the morning of the 4th. Look for Comet Catalina in close to Arcturus in Boötes.

Venus, Saturn and the Moon, January 2016

Starry Night Software

Wednesday, January 6, dawn. A close grouping of two planets and the moon. The following morning, the moon will have moved to the other side of Venus and Saturn.

Venus and Saturn, January 2016

Starry Night Software

Saturday, January 9, dawn. A rare chance to view two planets in the same telescopic field.

Aldebaran and the Moon, January 2016

Starry Night Software

Tuesday, January 19, 10 p.m. EST. The moon will occult the bright star Aldebaran as seen from most of North America. The exact time will vary depending on your location.

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Geoff Gaherty
Geoff Gaherty

Geoff Gaherty was Space.com's Night Sky columnist and in partnership with Starry Night software and a dedicated amateur astronomer who sought to share the wonders of the night sky with the world. Based in Canada, Geoff studied mathematics and physics at McGill University and earned a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Toronto, all while pursuing a passion for the night sky and serving as an astronomy communicator. He credited a partial solar eclipse observed in 1946 (at age 5) and his 1957 sighting of the Comet Arend-Roland as a teenager for sparking his interest in amateur astronomy. In 2008, Geoff won the Chant Medal from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, an award given to a Canadian amateur astronomer in recognition of their lifetime achievements. Sadly, Geoff passed away July 7, 2016 due to complications from a kidney transplant, but his legacy continues at Starry Night.