The new year is slowly approaching, and the first month of 2020 is already set to encounter a series of astronomical events, such as a Full Wolf Moon and an outstanding meteor shower.
What is great about the events in January of 2020 is the fact that all of them are visible from Earth to anyone who cares to watch them. Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming occurrences that welcome us as we step into the new year.
Three Astronomical Events That Will Take Place in January 2020
January 3rd – Quadrantids Meteor Shower
The first astronomical event of the new year is the Quadrantids Meteor Shower, which will be visible on the evening sky of January 3rd. The event will shoot approximately 40 meteors per hour at its apogee, which means that if the evening is a clear one, there is a quite good chance to see them.
These meteors are generated by dust collections left by a dead comet called 2003 EH1, which was identified in 2003. For your best chance to see a falling star, watch the skies immediately after midnight. The meteors can be better seen fro a place with light or no pollution, such as the countryside.
January 10th – Full Wolf Moon
The Full Wolf Moon will light up the skies on January 10th. The event occurs when the Moon is placed on the exact opposite side of the Earth as the Sun.
In Native American tribes, this specific full Moon was known as the Full Wolf Moon due to the fact that this was the period of the year when hungry packs of wolves howled near their places. This phenomenon is also known as The Old Moon or The Moon After Yule.
January 24th – New Moon
The last event taking place in the first month of the new year is a new moon, which will occur on January 24th. The phenomenon takes place because the Moon will be located on the same part of the Earth as the Sun.
This means that from approximately 21.45, the Moon will not be seen in the sky. During this time, other dimmer cosmic bodies such as galaxies and star clusters will be especially bright because there will be no moonlight to hide them.