Monday 23rd to Sunday 29th January 2023
Just after sunset on Monday 23rd, there is an opportunity to see Venus and Saturn close together, just before they set below the horizon. They will be joined by a very thin 5%-lit Crescent Moon to the left of them. Around 6pm, the trio will be located towards the south west.
Two days later, on the evening of Wednesday 25th, the Moon will be close to Jupiter if you look south west, again around 6pm. By then the Crescent Moon will be 21%-lit.
Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF will be getting brighter throughout this coming week. On Friday 27th it will appear close to the star Kochab in the constellation of Ursa Minor and by Sunday 29th it will be nearer Polaris, the Pole Star, with its brightness increasing to around +4.9 Diagrams showing the comet's position each night are available at www.starsoversomerset.com
I am delivering one of my astronomy lectures at the Ham Hill Visitor Centre on the Friday evening and if skies are clear, we will be venturing outside afterwards for a little star party. In addition to observing usual favourites like the Andromeda Galaxy, Pleiades open cluster of stars and the Great Orion Nebula, we will have a go at hunting down the comet ourselves.
If you would like to attend the event, booking is through the www.visitsouthsomerset.com website under the Ham Hill Country Park tab. I will be holding another event at the Centre on Friday 17th February, although by then the comet will be out of view so we will go exploring other targets that evening.
Screenshots courtesy of Stellarium
Copyright Adrian Dening and Radio Ninesprings 2023