Skywatching This Week: January 21-27

Sun and Moon

In Chicago, the SUN sets this week between 4:52 pm and 5:00 pm Central Standard Time and rises between 7:12 am and 7:08 am Central Standard Time. The MOON is in its waxing gibbous phase and is full on Saturday the 26th. It’s essentially visible all night long, setting in the wee hours of the morning.

Planets

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

Evening Commute

The MOON comes very close to JUPITER on Monday the 21st. The bright star DENEB is 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 and the bright star CAPELLA to its left. At dusk, the constellation Orion, with its famous three-star belt, is rising below JUPITER.

Other Bright Stars

Orion features the 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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