THE STARS THIS WEEK
Chart time 7 p.m.
Sirius, the brightest star in the heavens, marks the tip of the nose of Canis Major the Big Dog, which can easily be found rising in the southeast during midevening.
New telescope users may want to try viewing land objects in the daytime first to practice setting up your instrument and finding objects in your viewfinder.
The moon slips above and to the right of blazing blue-white Venus in the pre-dawn skies. A telescope will reveal the featureless phase shape of the planet.
This morning the moon shines above, and to the right, of bright yellow Jupiter. The planet’s four largest moons and colorful bands can be seen in small telescopes.
The Quadrantid meteor shower reaches it peak intensity over the next two days. Looking towards the constellation of Bootes in the northeast later in the evening, up to 50 meteors an hour may be seen. As usual the greatest numbers will be spotted by viewing away from city lights.
Below and to the right of Jupiter sparkles pink-red Mercury. A moderate-size instrument is needed to see thee small featureless-phase shape of the planet.