Astronomy is the foundation upon which astrology can operate. Actually, astrology and astronomy were treated together, under the Latin name of astrologia, being separated only by the Western 17th century philosophy. One thing is sure: a good astrologer needs to study astronomy. Here you can find the astronomy calendar for January 2019.
Thursday, January 3rd, Friday, January 4th: Quadrantids Meteor Shower
The Quadrantid meteor shower is 2019’s first major meteor shower. This is an above average shower, with up to 40 meteors per hour at its peak. It is thought to be produced by dust grains left behind by an extinct comet known as 2003 EH1, which was discovered in 2003. The name comes from Quadrans Muralis, a former constellation created in 1795 by the French astronomer Jérôme Lalande that is now part of the constellation Boötes. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Bootes, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
Sunday, January 6th: New Moon
The New Moon is when the Sun and Moon are aligned, with the Sun and Earth on opposite sides of the Moon. The new moon is the first lunar phase, when the Moon and Sun have the same ecliptic longitude. At this phase, the lunar disk is not visible to the unaided eye, except when silhouetted during a solar eclipse. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
Sunday, January 6th: Partial Solar Eclipse
This is the first solar eclipse of the year, a partial solar eclipse visible only in East Asia and North Pacific. A partial solar eclipse occurs when the Moon covers only a part of the Sun. The Moon, the Sun and Earth don’t align in a perfectly straight line, and the Moon casts only the outer part of its shadow, the penumbra, on Earth. From an earthly perspective, this looks like the Moon has taken a bite out of the Sun. A partial solar eclipse can only be safely observed with a special solar filter or by looking at the Sun’s reflection. More about the New Moon and Partial Solar Eclipse (January 6th, 2019)
Sunday, January 6th: Venus at Greatest Western Elongation
Venus’s orbit lies closer to the Sun than the Earth’s, meaning that it always appears close to the Sun and is very difficult to observe most of the time. It is observable only for a few weeks each time it reaches greatest separation from the Sun – moments referred to as greatest elongation. This is the best time to view Venus since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for the bright planet in the eastern sky before sunrise.
Monday, January 21st: Full Moon, Supermoon
The full moon is the lunar phase when the Moon appears fully illuminated from Earth’s perspective. This occurs when Earth is located directly between the Sun and the Moon (more exactly, when the ecliptic longitudes of the Sun and Moon differ by 180°). This means that the lunar hemisphere facing Earth – the near side – is completely sunlit and appears as a circular disk, while the far side is dark.
This full moon is also the first of three supermoons for 2019. The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual.
The January Full Moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Wolf Moon, because this was the time of year when hungry wolf packs howled outside their camps. Other names for this full moon were Old Moon or the Moon After Yule.
Monday, January 21st: Total Lunar Eclipse
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly behind Earth and into its shadow. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are exactly or very closely aligned, with Earth between the other two. A lunar eclipse can occur only on the night of a full moon.
The eclipse will be visible throughout most of North America, South America, the eastern Pacific Ocean, western Atlantic Ocean, extreme Western Europe, and extreme Western Africa.
Tuesday, January 22nd: Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter
Venus and Jupiter will share the same right ascension, with Venus passing 2°26′ to the north of Jupiter. The two bright planets will be visible in the early morning sky.