Moon close to Orion and Mars
On the evenings of January 4 and 5, 2023, from the Northern Hemisphere, the almost full moon can be virtually overhead. Orion the Hunter stands above the southern horizon: Look above his raised membership to see the moon presiding over all.
The moon is leaving Taurus the Bull and vivid Mars behind, headed for Gemini the Twins and its vivid stars Castor and Pollux. On each January 4 and 5, the moon can be greater than 90% lit, shining brightly over the panorama beneath, and in lots of locations illuminating winter snow.
The waxing gibbous moon received’t attain full section and 100% lit till 23:08 UTC (5:08 p.m. CST) on January 6, 2023. The Wolf Moon will in all probability not be noticeably smaller to your eye, however the full moon this month is a micromoon, as a result of it’s getting near its far level in its orbit round Earth.
The view from the Southern Hemisphere
If you happen to’re within the Southern Hemisphere, Orion the Hunter stands on his head above the northern horizon. As a substitute of the moon being excessive overhead, like within the Northern Hemisphere, the moon is hugging the horizon. That’s as a result of the trail of the total moon in early January mimics that of the June solar. And for these in summer season in June, the solar is excessive, whereas these in winter in June have a solar decrease to the horizon. The moon’s path roughly follows the solar’s daytime path from six months in the past, and 6 months from now.
So, relying in your location on Earth, the view of the night time sky adjustments barely. If you happen to’re within the Southern Hemisphere, flip our maps the wrong way up for a extra correct view. Or attempt Stellarium for a exact star chart out of your location.
Backside line: See the almost full moon close to Orion the Hunter, a trademark of January skies. Brilliant, reddish Mars is close by within the constellation Taurus the Bull.
Available now! 2023 EarthSky lunar calendar. A unique and beautiful poster-sized calendar showing phases of the moon every night of the year! Makes a great gift.
For more great observing events in the coming weeks, visit EarthSky’s night sky guide
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