by Peter Williams
On 7 January the planet Mercury reaches its greatest eastern elongation, which means that it appears to us to be in the furthest part of its orbit from the Sun. This will be the best time to observe it; look low in the western sky just after sunset. Venus on the other hand is steadily moving towards the Sun and will change from an evening to an early morning object, becoming less obvious in the sky.
On 17 January there will be a full Moon. This particular Moon was known by early native American tribes as the ‘Wolf Moon’ since it was the time of the year when hungry pack wolves howled outside their camps.