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Starwatch for January 2021

Written by John Del Re on January 13, 2021

Hello! I’m Karl Hricko of United Astronomy Clubs of NJ and the National Space Society bringing you the January 2021 Starwatch for WNTI.ORG.

Have you ever wondered why January is the first month of our 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 Jupiter, the king planet will appear after sunset in the southwest. It is above Saturn in Capricornus, close to the horizon. At midmonth, Mercury will be seen above Jupiter in Sagittarius – all three forming a triangle in the sky. Mars can be viewed high in the sky in Aries. At dawn, Venus rises in the southeast in Sagittarius.

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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