Stairway to the Horizon-Part 3

January 5th to 10th  - 7 a.m. Local Time

January 5th to 10th – 7 a.m. Local Time

   This month, as in the previous few months at sunrise, you will be finding the Moon in its late waning phases passing by bright stars (Spica and Antares) and planets (Saturn and Venus) that are located near the ecliptic path. This occurs as the Moon moves eastward along its orbital path toward new Moon phase on the 11th. This animated graphic shows the sunrise skies at the same time each morning starting with tomorrow the 5th, and stepping one day at a time ending on the 10th with a very thin waning crescent Moon near Venus. (Click on the image to see it full size)
   You may have noticed that there is more going on in this animated image then just the Moon moving past the stars and planets. The stars are moving toward the right, westward a little bit (about 1 degree) each day due to Earth revolution around the Sun. Additionally watch Venus as it moves eastward and appears a little lower above the horizon each day. This is due to the orbital motion of Venus carrying it eastward toward superior conjunction, ‘behind’ the Sun as we would view it from Earth.

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information.

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