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Post Info TOPIC: January 2018


L

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RE: January 2018
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Mercury is at Greatest western elongation (22.7° W) in the constellation Ophiuchus at 20:00 UT, 1st January 2018.



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L

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There are many meteor showers this month...
The Quadrantids Meteors Shower Peaks on the 3rd January. It is active from January 1 through January 5.

ShowerActivity PeriodMaximumRadiantVelocityZHR
  DateR.A.Dec.km/s 
Zeta AurigidsDec 11-Jan 21Dec. 31/Jan. 1    
QuadrantidsJan 1-5Jan. 416.3h56.6°52.1114.2
Gamma VelidsJan 1-17Jan. 5-8    
Rho GeminidsDec 28-Jan 28Jan. 8/9    
January DraconidsJan10-24Jan. 13-16    
January BootidsJan 8-18Jan 813.9h-12.0°19.4 
Eta CrateridsJan 11-22Jan. 16/17    
Delta-CancridsDec 14-Feb 14Jan. 17128°+20°20.44
Coma BerenicidDec8 - Jan 23Jan 18165°+30° 6
Alpha HydridsJan 15-30Jan. 20/21    
Eta CarinidsJan 14-27Jan. 21/22    
CanidsJan13-30Jan. 24/25    
Alpha LeonidsJan13-Feb 13Jan. 24-31    
AurigidsJan-Feb 23Jan. 31   bolids
Orionids Jan. 3115.4h-15.3°29.924.3



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January Highlights

The Beehive Cluster
Otherwise known as M44. This is an open cluster and is a wonderful object for binoculars or a small telescope. It contains nearly 200 stars. At a magnitude of 3.7, the cluster should be visible to the naked eye as a fuzzy patch of light, and as such was known to the ancients and actually included in some of their myths. Hipparchus in 130 BC called it "the little cloud". Its true nature was not revealed until 1609/10 when Galileo became the first person to see it through a telescope.
Using binoculars, you should find about 80 stars (many more, if you're using a telescope). Since the Beehive is about 577 light years away the light you are seeing tonight left before Galileo first lifted his telescope toward the sky.

The Orion Nebula
Orion is a favourite target of telescope owners. In the centre of Orion's sword, just below the 'belt', lies the great Orion Nebula. Even small 60mm telescopes will show the brightest regions of the nebula and the "Trapezium"; a grouping of the brightest blue stars near the centre. The nebula glows because of the intense energy being radiated by them. The red light shows the location of the hydrogen gas, the blue light is light being reflected from the Trapezium. The blue colour has the same origin as the blue light of our daytime sky, the dust particles in this nebula, reflect blue light more readily than red. 



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