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What’s Up for January?

What’s Up for January?

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A meteor shower, a binocular comet and the winter circle of stars. Here are the details:

Quadrantid Meteor Shower

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The Quadrantid meteor shower on Jan. 4 will either sizzle or fizzle for observers in the U.S. The shower may favor the U.S. or it could favor Europe depending on which prediction turns out to be correct. For viewing in the United States, observers should start at 3 a.m. EST. The peak should last about two hours with rates of 120 meteors per hour predicted in areas with a dark sky.

Comet Catalina

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In the middle of the month, midnight to predawn will be primetime for viewing Comet Catalina. It should be visible with binoculars if you have a dark sky, but a telescope would be ideal. Between the 14th and 17th the comet will pass by two stunning galaxies: M51, the whirlpool galaxy and M101, a fainter spiral galaxy.

Constellation Orion

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Winter is also the best time to view the constellation Orion in the southeastern sky. Even in the city, you’ll see that it’s stars have different colors. Not telescope needed, just look up a few hours after sunset! The colorful stars of Orion are part of the winter circle of stars.

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