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January 2013

January Sky

With the New Year starts another orbit around the Sun. There are 366 potential stargazing nights, and if we make an effort to plan ahead, maybe we can be more successful this year than last.

On those cloudy nights, take some time to draw up observing plans for a few weeks or even a month or two in the future. When you plan ahead, you can take full advantage of a clear night by already having an observing plan ready. Planning also lets you dig a little deeper into the atlas, past the usual 110 suspects and any wanderers that may be in the celestial neighbourhood.

But let's face it, going out to observe on a January night comes down to just one thing: motivation.

For some, a whole truckload of motivation (or more) will be needed before they wander out into bone-chilling cold, clear January nights.

If you are one of these types, you can still do a little “Winter Training Camp” from time to time just to keep keen. If you have astronomy programs, use them and figure out all the features they have, make sure you know how to print off charts when the next new comet comes around during warmer months. You can also go to the library and go through some of those books you didn’t have time to look at during busy months. This time of year is also a good time to set out some goals for objects you’d like to see during the year and make plans on how you would do that.

Or, you could just get a new parka and some warm boots so you can get out there and observe.

I’ve indexed the object to its star chart page.

Naked Eye

Propus, page 14.
Aldebaran ,age 15;
Mirzam, page 16.
Arneb' page 16.
Nihal' page 16, can you make out the Throne of Jawz?'?'
Menkar, page 17.
Procyon, page 25.
Sirius, page 27.

Small Scopes and Binoculars

NGC 2215, page 16.
NGC 1582, page 12.
M 67, page 24.
NGC 2182, page 25.

Larger Scopes

vdB-26, page 15.
Ced 34 (Cederblad catalogue object), page 15.
NGC 1535, page 17.
Lower’s Nebula, page 25.

Bonus Objects

NGC 1817 and NGC 1807, page 14;
NGC 1554, page 15.
NGC 1407 and NGC 1400, page 17.
NGC 2403, page 21.

For Those Heading South this Winter

Fornax Dwarf, Page 6.
NGC 2210, Page 20.

Happy Hunting

John Kulczycki

Copyright John Kulczycki

Read more at Suite101: Pocket Sky Atlas Challenges for January | Suite101
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