January 2017 is a great month for stargazing because the five bright planets (Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury) are going to shine spectacularly for all to see. If the weather is clear and the forecast is good tonight, you should be able to see Mars and Venus as well as various constellations and star clusters with your bare eyes. You may even catch a glimpse of Jupiter in the early hours.
In order to help locals catch the best views of the impressive January skies, astronomers at the University of Sussex are sharing their telescopes with the public tonight in a free Stargazing Live event organised by Sussex University astronomer Darren Baskill. Visitors will get a chance to use powerful telescopes and chat with members of the East Sussex Astronomical Society and astrophysics students at the university this evening between 6:30 pm and 9:30 in the Jubilee building on Sussex’s Falmer campus.
Speaking to B&H News, Dr Baskill said: “As scientists it’s important for us to explain to the general public what we do and why we do it.
“This event will open the eyes of the public to how wonderful science is in general and also to the cutting-edge astronomy research we do here at Sussex on a daily basis.”
Don’t worry if you cant stargaze tonight; until the end of the month, catching a glimpse of Venus will be possible in the evening, as will spotting Jupiter in the skies just before dawn, according to Earthsky News. Jupiter and the last quarter-moon will also glow brightly in the sky tomorrow at about 12:30 am until dawn breaks.
Happy sky watching, Brighton and Hove!