Love is in the air for 2012

English: The Moon and planet Venus

Image via Wikipedia

2012 is the year for love.

This month, the planet Venus named after the Roman goddess of love will take on centre stage as the brightest planet. It can be seen during early evening in the south western sky. On Boxing Day it already put on a spectacular show as it approached the moon.

Venus, which is the second planet from the sun, can be seen between 6-7 pm. Like the moon it has phases, which can be seen through a telescope.

High in the southwestern sky is Jupiter the second brightest planet in the sky. As the month progresses Venus moves closer to Jupiter and will pass each other in March.

Venus will continue to put on a show throughout the year. The biggest event will be the transit of Venus across the face of the sun on June 5. This event has been recorded only six times throughout history because it happens twice per century. The next time will be 2117.

Mercury is low in the south eastern morning sky during twilight and is lost in the Sun mid month.

Mars rises in the east during mid evening and is in the south west at dawn.

Saturn rises in the east after midnight. Uranus is in the south west during evening twilight and sets in the west around 10 p.m. Neptune is low in the south west after evening twilight.

Jan. 1- First quarter moon
Jan. 2 – Tonight there is a beautiful pairing of the moon with Jupiter just below it. You can’t miss it.

Jan. 3-4 – The Quadrantids Meteor Shower peaks and can be seen after midnight in the north. From a dark location you could see 40 meteors per hour. Some are visible Jan. 1-5.

Jan. 4 – The Earth is at perihelion or closets to the Sun for the year at 147,097,334 km.

Jan. 9 – The full moon is called the Wolf Moon.

Jan. 13  – Hamilton Amateur Astronomers meeting at 7:30 p.m., Hamilton Spectator building, 44 Frid St., Hamilton. Free admission with door prizes. An optional donation of non-perishable goods will be collected for local food banks.

Jan. 16 – The quarter moon will form a triangle with Saturn and the star Spica in the predawn sky.

Jan. 17 – The moon is at perigee or closets to the Earth this month at 369,882 km.

Jan. 25 – Venus pairs up with the crescent moon in the west 6-7 p.m to celebrate Robbie Burns Day.
Jan. 30 – This month’s extra quarter moon is at apogee or furthest from the Earth at 404,324 km.

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About Mario Carr

Mario Carr has a Physics degree from McMaster University and hosts this blog. He is the director of public education for the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers and has helped to raise the profile of the group. He writes an astronomy column and appears on CHCH-TV to talk about the night sky. Mario is the founder of the Carr Marketing Group in Burlington, Ontario and can help with your marketing, communications, publicity and public relations needs. He can be reached at www.carrmarketinggroup.com or mariocarr@cogeco.ca.
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3 Responses to Love is in the air for 2012

  1. Pingback: Maya cosmology and 2012 | The sky this month

  2. Pingback: Those dog nights of winter | The sky this month

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