Starwatch: magic of sunrise comes with added bonuses

·1 min read

Take a moment out of your morning to catch the red jewel of Antares, brilliant Venus and Mars


Here’s a special challenge for the week: rise early and find a good view of the southern and eastern horizon to watch the sunrise. It is a magical moment in the day, even if you are rushing off to get to work, and this week brings with it some astronomical jewels to pick out of the twilight.

This week, from London the sun rises at about 7.45am GMT, so your vigil needs to start about an hour before then. Looking low in the south, you will see the beautiful red jewel of Antares. Further east will be the brilliant white beacon of Venus, and between these two will be a difficult-to-spot Mars.

The chart shows the view looking south-east from London at 7am GMT on 28 January. On this morning, a waning crescent moon will join the tableau. The morning after, the moon passes Mars, helping you pick it out.

The view is much easier to see in the southern hemisphere. From Sydney, Australia, at about 5.30am AEDT, Antares, Venus, and Mars will stand proud from the eastern horizon, and the moon will appear to be plunging downwards on successive mornings.

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