"Four Bright Planets Ring in the New Year"

Scheduled air date: 2003 Dec 29-2004 Jan 04

The brilliant planet Venus is currently making an appearance in the southwestern sky as the "Evening Star."  It is joined by the red planet Mars, which is a bit higher and to the left of Venus.  With a pair of binoculars or a telescope, the second week of January will be a good time to look for the dim planet Uranus, which will appear less than a degree from Venus on the nights of the 14th and 15th.
(Shown about an hour after sunset for mid-Northern latitudes.  Inset shows a binocular view of Venus and Uranus for January 14th and 15th.)

Later in the evening, the ringed planet Saturn and the giant planet Jupiter may be seen the eastern sky.  The Full Moon joins Saturn on the night of January 6th; the Waning Gibbous Moon appears near Jupiter on the nights of the 11th and 12th.
(Shown around 11:00 PM for mid-Northern latitudes.)

If you wish to view illustrations for other episodes, please see our Star Gazer Illustrated directory.

Illustrations on this page were created using TheSky Astronomy Software, an advanced desktop planetarium program designed for Windows.

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