Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - 50

JANUARY 2017 OBSERVING
Celestial Calendar

Jupiter High at Dawn

Lucian Gurban of Montreal was watching and photographing when the southern edge of the
waxing Moon occulted Alpha Cancri, magnitude 4.2, on the evening of May 23, 2015. He used a
6-inch telescope for these before and after shots, taken 24 minutes apart.

DECEMBER AND especially January
find Jupiter shining highest as dawn
begins to brighten. In a telescope it's
still relatively small; during January it
enlarges from 36 to 39 arcseconds wide
across its equator, on its way to 44″
around opposition April 7th.
Any telescope shows Jupiter's four
big Galilean moons. Binoculars usually show at least two or three. Identify
them at any date and time using the
diagram at far right.
All the interactions in January
between Jupiter and its satellites and
their shadows are tabulated at right.
Find events timed for when Jupiter will
be in good view for you.
And here are the times, in Universal
Time, when the Great Red Spot should
cross Jupiter's central meridian. The
dates, also in UT, are in bold. (Eastern
Standard Time is UT minus 5 hours.)

pTHE STAR at the point of the Hyades V

23:25; 3, 9:20, 19:16; 4, 5:12, 15:07; 5, 1:03,

Moon Occults Gamma Tauri

January 1, 7:42, 17:37; 2, 3:33, 13:29,

asterism, magnitude-3.9 Gamma Tauri,
has a date with the waxing gibbous
Moon in the early morning of January
9th for much of the northwestern U.S.
and western Canada. A small scope will
easily show the star disappearing behind
the Moon's dark limb. Its reappearance
from behind the bright limb may be lost
in the glare of the sunlit moonscape.

Some disappearance times: At Winnipeg, 8:43 UT (2:43 a.m. CST); Kansas
City, 8:59 UT (2:59 a.m. CST); Denver,
8:57 UT (1:57 a.m. MST); Edmonton,
8:31 UT (1:31 a.m. MST); Vancouver,
8:29 UT (12:29 a.m. PST). Interpolate
between the UT times to estimate the
time at your location. Set up early so
you don't get caught short; occultations
wait for no one.

The Quadrantid Meteors
THE STRONG BUT ELUSIVE Quadran-

tid meteor shower - elusive because
its peak lasts just a few hours - should
be timed for North America this year,
especially the West. The richest part of
the shower should be centered on 14h
UT January 3rd: 9 a.m. on that date EST,
6 a.m. PST. Dawn begins around 6 a.m.
local time. There will be no Moon.
The Quadrantids' radiant is in
northern Boötes between the head of
Draco and the end of the Big Dipper's
handle. It's up all night for watchers
in the mid-northern latitudes, but like
50

J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 * SK Y & TELESCOPE

most shower radiants, it's highest in the
early morning hours. This is because
Earth's dawn side faces forward in our
30-km-per-second flight around the
Sun. This added velocity also means the
upper atmosphere hits more meteors,
and hits them harder (making them
brighter), than when meteors come at
us from behind in the evening.
BE A METEOR COUNTER. For how to
carry out a useful meteor count - no
matter what the shower is or isn't doing
- and report it to the International
Meteor Organization, see imo.net/visual.

10:59, 20:54; 6, 6:50, 16:46; 7, 2:41, 12:37,
22:33; 8, 8:28, 18:24; 9, 4:20, 14:15; 10, 0:11,
10:07, 20:03; 11, 5:58, 15:54; 12, 1:50, 11:45,
21:41; 13, 7:37, 17:32; 14, 3:28, 13:24, 3:19;
15, 9:15, 19:11; 16, 5:06, 15:02; 17, 0:58,

Minima of Algol
Dec.

UT

Jan.

UT

1

22:51

2

4

19:40

5

8:41

7

16:29

8

5:30

11:52

10

13:18

11

2:19

13

10:08

13

23:09

16

6:57

16

19:58

19

3:46

19

16:47

22

0:35

22

13:37

24

21:24

25

10:26

27

18:13

28

7:15

30

15:02

31

4:04

Algol remains near minimum brightness for about
two hours. It takes several additional hours to
fade and to rebrighten. These geocentric predictions are from the heliocentric elements Min.
= JD 2445641.554+ 2.867324E, where E is any
integer. For a comparison-star chart and more
info, see skyandtelescope.com/algol.


http://www.skyandtelescope.com/algol http://www.imo.net/visual

Sky and Telescope - January 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sky and Telescope - January 2017

Contents
Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - Cover1
Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - Cover2
Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - 1
Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - Contents
Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - 3
Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - 4
Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - 5
Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - 6
Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - 7
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Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - Cover3
Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - Cover4
Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - SGA17RAL
Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - 90
Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - SGA17R
Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - SGA17RA
Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - SGA17EAL
Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - 94
Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - SGA17E
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Sky and Telescope - January 2017 - SGA17S
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