What’s Up in the January Sky

Evening sky, looking south around 19:00 EST on Wednesday, 20 January 2021. Sky Safari star chart annotated (Annotable, Pixelmator & Graphic) by Peter Tagatac

January’s Evening Planets:

Red Mars will be up all night moving between Pisces the Fish and Aries the Ram in January. Find Mercury moving between Capricornus the Sea-Goat and Aquarius the Water-Bearer until 6 p.m. in the second half week of January and rising bright on the 23rd of the month. Jupiter and Saturn will be visible for about one hour after sunset in the first 10 days of the month in Capricornus the Sea-Goat. Find Uranus in Cetus the Sea monster until 2 a.m. and setting earlier every night. Neptune will be in Aquarius the Water Bearer until 10 p.m. and setting earlier every night.


Easy open clusters targets. Evening sky, looking east around 19:00 EST on Saturday, 09 January 2021. Sky Safari star chart annotated (Annotable, Pixelmator & Graphic) by Peter Tagatac

January’s Evening Stars:

The Winter Triangle of Sirius (the brightest star viewed from Earth) in Canis Major the Great Dog; Betelgeuse in Orion the Hunter; and Procyon in Canis Minor the Small Dog will be up all night. Find Castor and Pollux in Gemini the Twins, Rigel in Orion, Aldebaran in Taurus the Bull, and bright Capella in Auriga the Charioteer. See the stars of constellations Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Perseus, Cepheus, Draco, Aries, Taurus, and Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (the Big and Little Dippers).

January’s Morning Planets:

Bright Venus will be in Sagittarius the Archer as of 6:30 a.m. in January.

January’s Morning Stars:

The Winter Triangle of Sirius, Betelgeuse, and Procyon will be up until morning. Find Capella in Auriga, Arcturus in Boötes the Herdsman, Spica in Virgo, Vega in Lyra, and Aldeberan in Taurus until the morning. See the stars of Leo, Gemini, Cassiopeia, Hercules, Hydra, Cepheus, Draco, Libra, and the two Dippers.

January Skylights

Jan. 2: Earth at Perihelion (91.4 million miles form Sun)

Jan. 3: Quadrantids Meteor Shower peaks— predawn

Jan. 6: Last quarter moon at 4:35 a.m.

Jan. 8: Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury small triangle after sunset

Jan. 9: Moon at perigee (228,300 miles away)

Jan. 13: New Moon at 0:00 a.m.

Jan. 20: First Quarter Moon at 4:00 p.m.

Jan. 21: Moon at apogee (251,300 miles away)

Jan. 23: Mercury shines at its greatest evening elongation, Sunset

Jan. 28: Full Moon at 2:15 p.m.

Times given in EDT.


Download Ken Graun’s January 2021 sky chart for reference and observing ideas.
Another equally helpful resource is Skymaps’ monthly evening sky chart, available for different hemispheres. Download The Evening Sky Map for January.