Dark Sky News

January 2024

Click here for the SAS Pictures of the Month (January 2024)!

Some well known visible objects:

Orion Nebula (M42) 

Pleiades (M45)

Hyades Cluster

Asterisms: Orion’s belt, Orion’s sword


Deep Sky Objects

Crab Nebula (M1) – pulsar and supernova remnant (visible in binoculars)

Horsehead Nebula (IC 434) – dark nebula in Orion

Flame Nebula (M78) – emission nebula in Orion


Here is a nice description of more objects in this general vicinity.

One of the year’s brightest light shows ignites night skies from December 26 to January 16. Expect approximately 120 meteors streaking per hour during its brief peak on January 4. Named after an obsolete constellation, you’ll need to look in the direction of Bootes and Draco where it used to be!

Saturday, January 6, 2024

7:28 PM EST, Europa ends transit of Jupiter.
7:32 PM EST, Europa’s shadow begins to cross Jupiter.
9:10 PM EST, Ganymede’s shadow begins to cross Jupiter.
9:16 PM EST, Io exits eclipse by Jupiter’s shadow.
10:00 PM EST, Europa’s shadow leaves Jupiter’s disk.
11:06 PM EST, Ganymede’s shadow leaves Jupiter’s disk.

With days getting longer, don’t forget to take advantage of the darkness of the new moon to do some stargazing or imaging!


Jan. 17 @ 6:07:39 pm: as bright as Venus, travelling overhead from SW to NE

Jan. 18 @ 5:18:46: almost as bright as Venus, travelling the same but not quite overhead, across the entire sky passing within a few degrees of a Jupiter/Moon conjunction!

Jan. 20 @ 5:17:21: brighter than Jupiter, travelling overhead SW to NE with its highest point between Cassiopeia and the North Star!

As of Dec. 25, 2023, SLIM is in lunar orbit! The Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) is a Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission designed to demonstrate accurate lunar landing techniques by a small explorer, with the objective of acceleration of the study of the Moon and planets using lighter exploration systems. The techniques demonstrated by this mission will pave the way for future lunar sample return missions. 

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