StarGazing in January 2012 <p>
Mom and daughter line up Lake County Astronomical Society's hands-on, kid-friendly telescope
to see details of the Moon at the Antioch Library in Illinois

Every month, Jane Houston Jones guides us through the sky in the What's Up videos. We've made a list for you from the video so that you can be sure to see January's stargazing highlights. All of these, except for the asteroid Eros, can be seen with your eyes. If you have binoculars, observing gets better. Astronomy clubs often lend equipment to members. Consider becoming a club member to benefit from members' knowledge of the sky, rent equipment, and learn to use binoculars and telescopes.

Your StarGazing Shortlist

  • Venus and Jupiter - rule the early evening sky this month. Look West around 6:30 pm to spot these beauties.
  • Mars - At the beginning of the month Mars rises at 11:30 pm (look East) and later in the month by 8:30 pm.
  • Saturn - Saturn rises around midnight, but it's best seen around dawn. Look East.
  • Eros - Spot the asteroid Eros, near Mars and below the constellation Leo. Look East. You'll need binoculars or a telescope.

Watch What's Up for January 2012? Dusk to Dawn Planets for charts and Jane's explanation of the stargazing targets that are on the StarGazing Shortlist.

Read the January 2012 Guide to the Five Visible Planets by EarthSky for more details and sky charts.

You may also enjoy Tonight's Sky: January 2012 by the HubbleSite.

Join our stargazing community!
Find a club in your area and find star parties and astronomy clubs on your iPhone using Go StarGaze. Join the NASA Night Sky Network stargazing community on Facebook and Twitter for daily sky charts.

Clear skies & happy stargazing!