May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, January 1996

By David N. Schramm

Earth and Sun will come together for the new year: On the fourth, Earth will be at perihelion, its closest approach to the Sun, a mere 91.3 million miles away. The full Moon will appear the next day, farther from Earth than any other full Moon in 1996. The closest new Moon of the year will occur on the 20th.

Venus is the evening planet to watch, very bright in the southwest sky for most of the month. January is also the time to view the bright constellation Orion; the hunter's celebrated "sword" region is frequently the birthplace of new stars. The 28th is the anniversary of the 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.

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