WATCH VENUS BRUSH PAST SATURN THIS WEEKEND
by David Dickinson
Welcome to 2016! The early morning sky is where the action is this first week of the year. We were out early this Monday morning as skies cleared over Central Florida on our yearly vigil for the Quadrantid meteors. Though only a handful of meteors graced the dawn skies, we were treated to a splendid line-up, including Jupiter, Mars, Spica, Antares, Saturn, Venus, the waning crescent Moon AND a fine binocular view of Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina. We’re always a bit skeptical of the Quadrantids. Its slim peak, coupled with a relative dearth of bright meteors makes it the elusive ‘unicorn’ of annual major meteor showers. Occurring in the dead of northern hemisphere winter certainly doesn’t help the ‘Quads in the PR department. But there’s another reason to brave the cold this week, as two naked eye planets close in for one of the tightest conjunctions of 2016.