This is the Saint Louis Science Center’s NIGHT SKY UPDATE for the week of Tuesday, January 8. Times are given as local St. Louis time in Central Standard Time due to the time change coming this Sunday. For definitions of terminology used in the night sky update, click the highlighted text.

Information updated weekly or as needed.

Join us for our next star party, Friday, February 1, 2019 held in association with the St. Louis Astronomical Society. For details, see the information at the bottom of this page.

The Sun and Moon

Sunrise is at 7:19 a.m. on Tuesday, January 8 and sunset is at 4:56 p.m. providing us with about 9.5 hours of daylight. Even after sunset, the light from the sun will still dimly illuminate our sky for about 1.5 hours. This period is called twilight, which ends around 6:31 p.m. this week. For those with a sun dial, solar transit or local noon occurs around 12:08 a.m. this week.

Day

Sunrise

Sunset

08 Jan

7:19 a.m.

4:56 p.m.

09 Jan

7:19 a.m.

4:57 p.m.

10 Jan

7:19 a.m.

4:58 p.m.

11 Jan

7:18 a.m.

4:59 p.m.

12 Jan

7:18 a.m.

5:00 p.m.

13 Jan

7:18 a.m.

5:01 p.m.

14 Jan

7:18 a.m.

5:02 p.m.

15 Jan

7:17 a.m.

5:03 p.m.

16 Jan

7:17 a.m.

5:05 p.m.

Moonrise for Tuesday, January 8 occurs at 9:05 a.m. and moonset will occur at 7:29 p.m. On Tuesday, January 8 the moon will be exhibiting a waxing crescent phase with roughly 7% of the lunar disk illuminated. First quarter moon occurs on January 14.

International Space Station (ISS) Observing

Visible passes of ISS from St. Louis for the week of January 8 occur during morning hours. The best of these occur on the mornings of January 9 and 12. Use the table below for information about these and other visible passes of ISS.

Catch ISS from St. Louis starting Tuesday, January 8

Mag

Starts

Max. altitude

Ends

Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.

09 Jan

-1.2 05:11:09 15 NE 05:11:09 15 NE 05:12:34 10 ENE

09 Jan

-3.8 06:44:09 10 NW 06:47:27 82 NE 06:50:44 10 SE

10 Jan

-2.9 05:54:06 26 NNW 05:55:30 42 NNE 05:58:39 10 ESE
11 Jan -1.5 05:04:26 22 ENE 05:04:26 22 ENE 05:06:16 10 E
11 Jan -2.9 06:37:08 11 WNW 06:40:01 36 SW 06:43:03 10 SSE
12 Jan -3.9 05:47:31 54 WNW 05:48:08 76 SW 05:51:25 10 SE
13 Jan -1.4 04:57:58 23 ESE 04:57:58 23 ESE 04:59:25 10 ESE
13 Jan -1.7 06:30:40 10 W 06:32:22 14 SW 06:34:11 10 SSW

Magnitude (Mag): The Measure of brightness for a celestial object. The lower the value is, the brighter the object will be.

Altitude (Alt): The angle of a celestial object measured upwards from the observer’s horizon.

Azimuth (Az): The direction of a celestial object, measured clockwise from an observer’s location with north being 0°, east being 90°, south being 180° and west being 270°.

For information about ISS flyovers and other visible satellites, visit www.heavens-above.com

Detailed information regarding all unmanned exploration of our universe, missions past, present, and planned, can be found at Jet Propulsion Laboratories:

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/

The Planets Visible Without a Telescope

This week three of the naked eye planets are visible. The two that will be easy to see are Venus and Mars. Venus has started a morning apparition rising before the sun and Mars will be seen shortly after sunset in the south. Jupiter on the other hand will be a bit tougher to see. It is rising a little before the sun.

Venus

Venus has started another morning apparition. You can find the brightest planet rising in the east by 3:44 a.m. By 4:15 a.m. Venus should be high enough to clear trees and buildings. Venus will spend the first half of 2019 as an early morning target

Mars

The red planet can be found in the south as the sun sets. With opposition having come and gone the bright appearance of Mars will begin to fade. Mars will set by 11:13 p.m.

Jupiter

The king of the planets is beginning another apparition. Jupiter is rising by 4:51 a.m. and should clear trees by 5:20 a.m. As we approach the date of January 22, 2019 you will see Jupiter and Venus getting closer in the sky. On the 22nd the pair will be in conjunction. If you would like to see this you will need to get up early and look east after 5:00 a.m.

Our next Star Party will be held on Friday, February 1, 2019, from dusk until 10 p.m.

As part of the Saint Louis Science Center’s First Fridays, weather permitting, the St. Louis Astronomical Society and the Science Center will set up a number of telescopes outdoors and be on-hand to answer your questions. Telescope viewing begins once it is dark. Regardless of the weather on February 1, join us indoors in our planetarium theater for “The Sky Tonight”. Showtime is at 7 p.m.

This free, indoor star program will introduce you to the current night sky, the planets, and the seasonal constellations. Doors open 15 minutes before show time. Shows begins at 7 p.m. Sorry, no late admissions due to safety issues in the darkened theater.

The St. Louis Astronomical Society helps host the monthly Star Parties at the Saint Louis Science Center which are held on the first Friday of each month. Our Monthly Star Parties are open to the public and free of charge. Telescope viewing is scheduled to start around 7:00 p.m.