On 3rd/4th January three celestial events would occur for people to appreciate. It’s just like a perfect welcome for the new year 2010 providing an opportunity to people to appreciate science.
Earth at Perihelion: On 3rd January 2010 Planet Earth will be at closest point to sun in its elliptical orbit around Sun. Astronomically this is phenomena is known as “Perihelion”. Whereas on 7th July Earth will be at Aphelion i.e. it will be at farthest point from Sun.
Spot Mars with Naked Eye Using Moon On 3rd Jan – Moon Conjunction with Mars: On Jan 3 Moon is in conjunction with Planet Mars. i.e. both moon and Mars appear to be near to each other as seen from earth.
Where to see /time: At 10.30 p.m. if one looks at East Direction one would see Bright moon and a Non twinkling red star like object just above left side. Which is nothing but planet Mars. At 3.30 a.m. one can find mars above ones head near to zenith and at 5.30 a.m. it can be found on the right side of moon in western direction. Telescopes are not needed to spot planets however to appreciate details one would need it. How to identify other planets in sky and how to differentiate a star from planet look brief notes.
Quadrantids Meteor Shower (3-4th Jan) : on 3rd/4th Jan the annual event of Quadrantid Meteor Shower will occur. Where to look/time: That away from city light at 4.a.m. if one looks at the area between East and North East direction one can see shooting stars. In other words one can see bright streaks of light zipping across the sky and would seem as if they are emanating from the constellation of Bootes. This shower is called “Quadrantids Meteor Shower” because the radiant of this meteor shower lies in Bootes constellation. Telescopes/binoculars are not required to see.