We offer you the January 2020 astronomy calendar. 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. For sure: a good astrologer needs to study astronomy.
Friday, 3rd January, Saturday, 4th January: Quadrantids Meteor Shower
The Quadrantids meteor shower is 2020’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.
Friday, 10th January: Full Moon
The full moon is the lunar phase when the Moon appears fully illuminated from Earth’s perspective. This takes place when Earth is located directly between the Sun and the Moon. More exactly, the ecliptic longitudes of the Sun and Moon differ by 180°). This means that the lunar hemisphere facing Earth – the near side –appears as a circular disk (being completely sunlit), while the far side is dark.
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. This is the name attested in Farmers’ Almanac. However, in Beard’s 1918 book, this was the name given to the December Full Moon.
Other names for this full moon were Old Moon, Ice Moon, the Moon After Yule, Difficulty Moon and Black Smoke Moon.
Friday, January 10th: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the Earth’s partial shadow, or penumbra. During this type of eclipse, the Moon will darken slightly, but not completely. This penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible throughout most of Europe, Africa, Asia, the Indian Ocean, and Western Australia.
This is the first lunar eclipse in 2020. The other three occur on 5th/6th June, on 4th/5th July and on 29th/30th November.
Friday, 24th January: New Moon
The New Moon occurs when the Sun and Moon are aligned, with the Sun and Earth on opposite sides of the Moon. Now, the Moon and Sun have the same ecliptic longitude, this being the first lunar phase. 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.