Astronomical Diary
lastquarterjpg newmoonjpg firstquarter.jpg
Last Quarter New Moon First Quarter Full Moon
Jan 6
05:37 PM
Jan 13
01:00 PM
Jan 21
05:02 AM
Jan 29
03:16 AM
Current Condition

Speed: 359.3 km/sec
Density: 3.5 protons/cm3
More Data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Jan 01 at 0600 UT

These sunspots have stable magnetic fields
that pose little threat for strong flares

Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory(SDO)/Helioseismic
and Magnetic Imager (HMI).
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max:
B3 0154 UT Jan01
24-hr: B3 0154 UT Jan01
Updated: Jan 01 at 0640 UT

Sun: 31 Dec 2020
Time (PST) of rise and set of some planets at 10-day interval
Rise Set Rise Set Rise Set Rise Set Rise Set
Jan 01 6:55 AM 6:08 PM 4:53 AM 4:09 PM 12:38 PM *1:08 AM 7:53 AM 7:13 PM 7:48 AM 7:07 PM
Jan 11 7:21 AM 6:42 PM 5:09 AM 4:23 PM 12:14 PM * 12:48 AM 7:22 AM 6:44 PM 7:13 AM 6:33 PM
Jan 21 7:36 AM 7:08 PM 5:23 AM 4:39 PM 11:51 AM *12:29 AM 6:52 AM 6:15 PM 6:38 AM 5:59 PM
Jan 31 7:16 AM 6:55 PM 5:36 AM 4:55 PM 11:30 AM *12:12 AM 6:22 AM 5:46 PM 6:04 AM 5:25 PM

* = Following day
Astronomical Events January 2021

Meteor Shower

The annual Quadrantid meteor shower will be active from 01–07 January. The observation of its peak activity is on 03–04 January in which, meteors or “falling stars” can be seen at the rate of at least 20 meteors per hour. The shower will appear to radiate from the constellation of Bootes, as shown in Figures 2 & 2a. The Quadrantid meteor shower hits the Earth’s atmosphere at the rate of about 40 kilometers per second. The incinerated dust is said to be particles apparently derived from the debris ejected by the near-Earth asteroid 2003 EH. However, the bright waning moon which is about 85% illuminated will cast an interfering glare across the nights which will interfere with shower activity viewing.

Figure 2
Figure 2
Figure 2a

Stars and Constellations

The famous equilateral triangle in the sky, known as the Winter Triangle rises after sunset. The Triangle is composed of Betelgeuse, the supergiant red star and the prominent star of the famous constellation Orion (the Mighty Hunter); Sirius, the brightest star in the sky of the constellation Canis Major (the Big Dog); and Procyon, the brightest star of the constellation Canis Minor (the Little Dog) as shown in Figures 1 & 1a.

Figure 1
Figure 1a
Planets Whereabout

On January 01, at 5:30 AM, Venus will be found low, standing at about 7 degrees in the east southeast horizon. It will continue to slide down the horizon as days pass by and will be lost from view on the last week of the month.

On the same date at 6:00 PM, Jupiter and Saturn can be found close to each other with an angular separation of about 1.3 degrees. Both planets will continue to slide down the horizon as days pass by and will be out for observation at the beginning of the third week of the month. Mercury joins the sky view with the two largest planets starting at the beginning of the second week of January and continues to climb higher until it reaches its greatest elongation on the 24th of the month.

Also, at 9:00 PM, Uranus, Mars, and Neptune will be visible at about 67, 57, and 19 degrees above the west horizon. The planets will be located at the background stars of the constellations of Aries, Pisces, and Aquarius. Uranus and Mars lie too close to each other on the line of sight from Earth with a separation angle of about 1 degree at the beginning of the 3rd week of the month. These two planets will be a good target for observations using optical instruments such as binoculars and telescopes under dark and clear night sky conditions.

2 Earth at perihelion 10:00 PM
9 Moon at perigee (nearest distance from Earth = 367,389 km) 11:37 PM
12 Venus 1.5° N of Moon 4:00 AM
14 Pluto in conjunction with Sun 10:00 PM
14 Uranus stationary 10:00 PM
21 Moon at apogee (farthest distance from Earth = 403,360 km) 9:11 PM
24 Vesta stationary 6:00 AM
24 Mercury greatest elongation E (19°) 10:00 AM
24 Saturn in conjunction with Sun 11:00 AM
29 Jupiter in conjunction with Sun 10:00 AM
30 Mercury stationary 10:00 AM


Regarding the publication on page 2 of the ALMANAC FOR GEODETIC ENGINEERS 2020, which contains the data for the EPHEMERIS OF THE SUN, it was verified that the February 29, 2020 date is missing but the data for the particular date is the data printed as March 1, 2020. The data printed from April 3 to December 31 are all correct.

Kindly refer to the image/link below for the data errata on the Ephemeris of the Sun 2020.
Errata of AGE 2020, page 2
(Errata of AGE 2020 pdf file)