A complete list of astronomy events for 2023 is available from AstroPixels. Also available here is the IMO 2023 meteor shower calendar.

Note that all times mentioned below are in EST or EDT (it should be specified).


Planet viewing December through February

Starting about Dec. 12, Mercury will be visible in the evening sky after sunset. It will reach maximum eastern elongation about Dec. 21. It will also appear in the morning sky about Jan. 15 and reach maximum elongation around the 30th. In February it will be in the morning sky.

Venus will be in the evening sky for December. Venus and Mercury will be in conjunction of 1.4° on Dec. 28-29. In January, Venus continues to climb and reaches 24° by the end of the month. In February there will be a conjunction of just 0.01° with Neptune on the 15th when both objects will be 27° from the sun. This will prove a real challenge with the nearly 12 magnitude difference in brightness.

Mars is visible in the sky all night for December and January. It moves to the evening sky for February.

Jupiter is visible most of the night in December. By January it is in the evening sky, and by the end of February it is setting almost at dusk. Although not visible from our location, there will be double shadow (moon) transits on Dec. 30 and on Jan. 6. For moon transits of Jupiter try this website.

Saturn is in the evening sky for December and January. In February, it moves behind the sun.

Uranus and Neptune are pretty much in the evening sky for December-February. By February, Neptune will be almost setting at dusk.


Jan. 2 - The Pleiades 2.6°N of the moon at 20:24 EST

On the night of Jan. 2 the Pleiades can be found just 2.6°N of the Moon. As shown below, Mars will also be pretty close to the Moon and the Pleiades. There is an occultation of Mars by the moon in the daytime on Jan. 3 which is unfortunately not visible in our area. That being said, there should a good opportunity for viewing Mars and the Moon close together the night of Jan. 3 as well.

Quadrantid meteor shower peaks the night of Jan 3-4/2023

The Quadrantid meteor shower peaks the night of Jan 3-4/2023. Under dark skies, one can expect approximately 25 meteors/hour. Complicating observing, the Moon is ~90% full this night. Fortunately the moon is relatively far from the radiant. See the picture below for 04:00 EST on Jan. 4.

Jan. 22 - Venus 0.3°S of Saturn at 17:00 EST

This will be a challenging one to spot almost directly to the west-south west after the sun goes down. Saturn and Venus set shortly after sundown which occurs at 17:20 EST.

Jan. 25 - Jupiter 1.8°N of Moon 21:00 EST

See below image for where to look at the west at 21:00 EST.

Jan. 30 - Pleiades 2.4°N of Moon at 02:21 EST

The moon will be pretty low by the time 02:21 EST hits, but go out a little earlier for a nice view of the Moon, the Pleiades and Mars. The following picture is taken at 00:00 on Jan. 30. Later on on the night of the 30th the Moon and Mars will be even closer.


Feb. 14 - Moon and Antares close before dawn
Just before dawn, if you have a clear view towards the south/southeast and the motivation to get up early enough, take a look towards the east for a nice view of the crescent Moon and Antares.
Feb. 21 - Moon, Venus and Jupiter all close together

Just after sunset, look for the thin crescent Moon, Venus and Jupiter roughly lined up in close proximity to one another to the west/southwest. Neptune is near to the moon as well.

The next night, Feb. 22, the Moon and Jupiter get even closer together. They are closest at 16:58. Again, go out after sunset to check this view out. The following picture taken at 19:28 EST shows their relative positions.

Feb. 26 - Moon and Pleiades nearby

The night of February 26, look for the Moon to be relatively close to the Pleiades in Taurus. The following picture from Stellarium is taken at 19:42 EST on Feb. 26.

Feb. 27 - Moon and Mars very close together

In some places this is an occultation. We are not so fortunate. Look to Taurus to see Mars and the Moon in very close proximity to one another on the night of Feb. 27. The following picture from Stellarium is taken on Feb. 27 at 23:42 EST.

Mar. 1 - Jupiter and Venus appulse (0.5° separation)

On Mar. 1 at 23:00, Jupiter and Venus make an extremely close visual approach to one another. However, the two planets will have already set in our area at this time. To get a nice view of this pairing, go out any time after sunset on Mar 1. and look towards the west. The sun sets at 18:11 EST in Owen Sound. The following picture shows the planets at 19:00 EST.


Credit for the content on this page goes to Eric Ingard, Stellarium for sky charts, the RASC Observers' Handbook, The Sky at Night and Dominic Ford for planetary positions.