Skywatch Line for Wednesday, January 1st, and Thursday, January 2nd, 2020

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, January 1st, and Thursday, January 2nd, written by Louis Suarato.

The 40% illuminated, waxing crescent Moon sets at 11:03 p.m. Wednesday. The Moon will reach its First Quarter phase at 11:30 p.m. Thursday. The Moon will reach apogee, its furthest distance from Earth during this lunar cycle, on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. at the distance of 251,394 miles. The furthest apogee for 2020 occurs on March 24th at the distance of 252,707 miles. The closest perigee for 2020 occurs at the distance of 221,772 miles on April 7th.

Look over the southwestern horizon after sunset for Venus, 82% illuminated, and shining at magnitude -3.6. Venus sets at 7:19 p.m. Wednesday. Mars rises in Libra at 4:11 a.m. Thursday. Look for the constellation Scorpius’ brightest star, Antares, below Mars about two hours later. Antares translates to rival to Ares, or opponent to Mars. Look for reddish Mars and Antares above the southeastern horizon before dawn.

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