January Sky – Star Maps – Comet Holmes – Meteors

The star maps showing Comet Holmes position were popular last month. So, here are the maps updated for January 2008.

Sky - January 2008 - details for Jan 23 - 9 PMJanuary 2008 - Track of Comet Holmes in Perseus
Sky maps for January 2008. Click thumbnails.

The map on the left shows the stars for the whole evening sky. The exact time when the moon and planets Saturn and Mars are in that position is 9 PM, January 23.

Comet Holmes will not move very far across the sky this month. Begin to locate it by finding Mirfak, in the constellation of Perseus. The second map show the section of Perseus with Mirfak and the track of Comet Holmes. The numbers beside the ticks on the track show the date and time the comet will be at that location. The comet is now faint and you will need clear dark skies and large binoculars or a telescope. Around Jan. 22 Holmes will pass in front of the star Algol. Unfortunately, there will be a brilliant Moon shining nearby.

The Quadrantid Meteors Shower will peak on January 4. Since there is a new crescent Moon, the sky will be dark, and it could be the best meteor shower of the year. Shower meteors seem to radiate from a single point in the sky, and normally the name of the shower uses the name of the radiant’s constellation. This one is named for a constellation that no longer exists called, Quadrans Muralis. The radiant is now in Boötes. Boötes is not up in the early evening, but you don’t need to see the radiant because the meteors will streak across all parts of the sky. The numbers of meteors could increase a little after midnight.

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2 Responses to “January Sky – Star Maps – Comet Holmes – Meteors”

  1. 1 Erika July 17, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Would like to use the map on the left in a movie. Did you create the map? If not, can you tell me where you got the map from?
    thanks for your help,

  2. 2 Robert July 17, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Hi Erika, yes I created the map. I spent 20 years producing shows for planetariums. A planetarium is a mechanical calculator for past, present and future skies. Well, now I no longer have access to a star-theatre, so I use software. That map was created using a program called Starry Night. Let me know what you want to do… I may be able to help. Best wishes… Robert

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