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January Sky Watch 2023 With Mr. Lutken

Happy January, Eagles! Retired faculty member and administrator Mr. Lutken offers guidance on what to expect in Mother Nature this month.  

2023 wasn't an easy year anywhere. Epic fires and droughts around the world made billions suffer, especially those in war zones. Dallas had one of its hottest and driest summers since the 1950s! Old trees that we remember from childhood died all around the city.

Still, if we open our eyes, there is always a lot to be thankful for. Here are some good things to look for right now: 

Evening Skies:  Two beautiful Planets, Jupiter and Saturn, are in the south to the southwest after sunset.

The Winter Hexagon is in view most of the night. Its perimeter includes some of the brightest stars in the sky: Capella, Sirius, Procyon, and Rigel. They surround the constellation Orion!!

Full Moon is on the 25th

Morning Skies:  Venus is the “Morning Star," low in the east. It's moving away from us and will soon disappear behind the sun.

The Big Dipper is high in the Northern Sky, and the bright star Arcturus is right overhead. Vega, a beautiful summer star, is peeking over the northeastern horizon as the sun comes up!

At the Quarry and around the area:

After the leaves fall, winter is a great time for bird watching! Hawks become easier to spot as they perch and soar, making them easy targets for sworn enemies. If you are out, and hear some clamoring Crows or Bluejays, you can bet they are harassing a hawk! This crazy photo shows a feisty Bluejay attacking a very stoic Red-Tailed Hawk! You have to wonder what they were thinking!!

Get outdoors every day in 2024!! It always helps my mood; you never know what you'll see or learn!