Hello, 2021! As the new year begins, our sky watch continues. Al Sadeem Astronomy has prepared below a calendar for January’s sky events. Read on to know more about the events happening this month. All dates and times were given in UAE Local Time (UTC+4).
Opening the New Year is the meteor shower that appears to radiate from the constellation Bootes—the Quadrantid meteor shower.
An above-average shower, the Quadrantids are believed to be produced by dust grains left behind by an extinct comet known as 2003 EH1, which was discovered in 2003.
Unfortunately this year, the waning gibbous moon will block out most of its faintest meteors. But if you are patient, you should still be able to catch a few good ones.
Appulse of the Moon, Mars, and Uranus
The Moon will be in its First Quarter phase when it closes upon Mars and Uranus in the night sky. An appulse happens when there is an apparent very near approach of one celestial body to another, like coming into conjunction.
Conjunction of Mars and Uranus
Mars and Uranus will share the same right ascension, appear close to each other in the night sky.Mars will be at mag 0.2, and Uranus at mag 5.8. A conjunction occurs when there is a close approach of two or more solar system bodies or a close approach of a single solar system body with another object in the sky.
Mercury at greatest eastern elongation
Heads up! Mercury will reach its greatest separation from the Sun in its January–February 2021 evening apparition. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the planet low in the western sky just after sunset.
Astronomy Calendar of Celestial Events 2021. (n.d.). Retrieved from Sea and Sky: www.seasky.org/astronomy/astronomy-calendar-2021.html
Calendar of Astronomical Events. (n.d.). Retrieved from In-The-Sky.org: http://in-the-sky.org/newscal.php?year=2021&month=1&maxdiff=5
Sunrise and sunset times in Abu Dhabi, January 2021. (n.d.). Retrieved from timeanddate.com: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/united-arab-emirates/abu-dhabi?month=1&year=2021