What's Up: The Sky Tonight


Each month on this page, the Big Sky Astronomy club hosts a video, produce by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) featuring the planets, deep sky objects and one or more of the constellations that are visible in our night sky at this particular time of year.


Featured during the month of January, 2018

  • High in the northern sky lies the constellation of Auriga. Auriga represented a "goat herder" to the early Greeks and Romans.

  • The brightest star in Auriga is Capella, which is actually a double star - two yellow stars like our own Sun, but each about 10 times as large;

  • Near Auriga lies another winter constellation Taurus "the Bull", with its massive forked horns;

  • The brightest star in Taurus, Aldebaran, represents the brilliant eye of the bull;

  • The head of "the Bull" is formed by the nearby, naked-eye open star cluster named the Hyades;

  • Lying west of the Hyades is the beautiful, and well-known open cluster, the Pleiades. It is also ofter referred to as "The Seven Sisters" and is easily visible to the naked eye;

  • Planets visible after midnight include Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and Mercury;

  • Saturn and Mercury can be observed low in the southeast before sunrise, while Jupiter and Mars rise together a little later, just before sunrise;

  • Using a small telescope you can observe Saturn's beautiful ring system and, after they rise, Jupiter and Mars will be less than a Moon's-width apart;

  • If you are willing to stay up late on the nights of January 3rd and 4th and brave the winter cold, you can catch the peak of the Quadrantid meteor shower. After midnight on the 3rd (the early morning of the 4th) you'll be able to observe up to 40 meteors per hour.

We cordially invite you to

"Discover the Universe with The Big Sky Astronomy Club"