Skywatching This Week: January 14-20

Sun and Moon

In Chicago, the SUN sets this week between 4:44 pm and 4:51 pm Central Standard Time and rises between 7:16 am and 7:13 am Central Standard Time. The MOON (which is waxing) starts the week as a crescent and reaches first quarter on Friday the 18th. On Monday, the MOON sets at 8:30 pm Central Standard Time; by the end of the week it sets after midnight.

Planets

JUPITER is visible throughout the evening. SATURN can be seen in the southeast before sunrise.

Evening Commute

The crescent MOON and the bright star DENEB are visible in the western sky at twilight. JUPITER is high in the eastern sky at twilight; other than the moon, it’s the brightest object in the sky. Once you find JUPITER, you will see the bright star ALDEBARAN just below it. These two remain close to each other all winter. Farther to the left of JUPITER is the bright star CAPELLA in the northeast.

Other Bright Stars

As the sky darkens, you will recognize the constellation Orion rising in the east, with its bright stars BETELGEUSE (the red-orange star on the top left) and RIGEL (the blue-white star on the lower right). Orion “stands upright” in the south by around 10:00 pm Central Standard Time. The brightest star in the night sky, SIRIUS, also rises in the east as the sky darkens; you can find it below and to the left of Orion. The bright stars PROCYON and POLLUX are also visible; you can imagine a large arc connecting SIRIUS up and to the left to PROCYON and on to POLLUX.

The constellation Orion and other bright stars rising after sunset.
The constellation Orion and other bright stars rising after sunset. (Image courtesy Stellarium)
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