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Starwatch for January 2019

Written by on January 11, 2019

Hello! I’m Karl Hricko of United Astronomy Clubs of NJ and the National Space Society bringing you the January Starwatch for the WNTI.

We have just had a major revolution! We went around the sun. We base our 12 month calendar on our motion around the Sun–which we call a “year”.  January was placed as the first month of the year by the Romans because it was named after their two-faced god, Janus.  He was called the Guardian of Gates and Doors, with one face looking backward, and the other looking forward. He was also the God of Beginnings.

Janus was celebrated as the Portal of Heaven, and the transition between the past and the future. This idea leads to our celebration of the eve of our New Year, as we make our resolutions to improve ourselves–beginning with January of this New Year. According to legend, Janus became the ruler of the kingdom of Latium, and gave sanctuary to Saturn, who was fleeing the wrath of Jupiter.

Speaking about Saturn, the ringed planet will appear at dawn to the southeast, in Sagittarius. It will be seen just above the horizon at the end of the month. At the same time and direction, Venus, the Crescent Moon and Jupiter will line up next to each other from left to right in Ophiuchus. Mercury is lost in sky glow on the horizon. At dusk, Mars can be seen high in the sky, to the southwest in Pisces.

So as we celebrate the month of Janus, let us try to keep our resolutions while we focus our eyes on the “Portals of Heaven”.

Until our next Starwatch –                                                                                                                                                        Don’t forget to check out …

What’s up in the night sky!




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