Welcome to Umpqua Astronomers of Douglas County


Astronomy enthusiasts of Douglas county gather for monthly meeting the second Tuesday of each month


The next UA meeting is Jan 11 at 7 p.m. PDT ONLINE ONLY.

Please ask for Zoom Link and password to join the monthly meetings. Call UCC P. Morgan Observatory phone 541-440-4719 --leave a message for a return call

Sky Gazing Event Calendar- Jan 2022

Jan 2   New Moon, Not visible

Jan 3   Moon below Mercury

Jan 3-4   Quadrantid Meteor Shower

Jan 4   Moon near Saturn

Jan 4   Earth at perihelion (farthest from the sun)

Jan 5   Moon near Jupiter

Jan 9   First Quarter moon

Jan 9   Mercury maximum altitude

Jan 11   Umpqua Astronomer Meeting, 7 p.m.

NEXT UA MEETING--Jan 11th 7 p.m.

Jan 17   Full Moon

Jan 25   Last Quarter Moon

Jan 29   Moon, Venus, Mars   predawn

Jan 31   Mercury with Venus and Mars   predawn

Evening Planet Parade

Tonight, spy brilliant Venus extremely low in the west southwest.  Look just a few minutes after sunset to spy our sister world.  Venus makes a rapid plunge into the setting sun’s glare in a few days.  Can you find the “evening star” on the night of January 4th ?  Tonight, find a long diagonal line of 6 planets.  First, find dazzling Venus, then bright Mercury, followed by modest Saturn.  Look higher up in the southwest to see bright Jupiter.  Next, swing toward the south with your binoculars to find dim Neptune.  Continue looking east with your binoculars to find dim Uranus.  Seven of eight planets if you count earth.

Look on January 3rd, a few minutes after sunset to say farewell to Venus.  About 10 degrees to the east and up slightly is Mercury. Garb your binoculars to try and spot an ultra-thin crescent moon 3 ½ degrees below Mercury.  It will be a feat if you can find the moon and Venus as they are low in the bright twilight glare.  The next night, the slightly fatter crescent moon will be about 4 ½ degrees to the east of Saturn.  On the 5th, a brighter moon appears 3 ½ degree east of Jupiter.  Two nights later, a nearly quarter moon will be 6 ½ degrees to the left of Neptune. On January 12, the moon sails 4 degrees below the Pleiades Star Cluster (M45) in Taurus.  The next night, the moon slides above the right horn of the Hyades Star Cluster.

Mercury reaches maximum altitude on January 9th and begins a rapid descent thereafter.  Saturn is also losing altitude slowly each night as well. The two worlds slowly close to about 4 degrees on January 12th.  Mercury is lost in the sunset glare by January 18th; while Saturn lingers until the close of January.

Dawn planets

Mars shines modestly as January opens in the constellation Ophiuchus. The Red World treks east each morning as the solitary bright planet in the predawn sky.  Venus appears to slide above the sun and joins Mars after January 20th.  An old crescent moon joins Venus and Mars on the morning of January 29th.  Two mornings later, Mercury makes a trio of bight predawn planets in Sagittarius.

Quadrantids Meteor Shower.

Each January 4th morning brings the little-known Quadrantids Meteor Shower.  This year we have good and bad news.  The good news, the moon will be absent, bringing dark skies for the predawn optimal observing period. Now the bad news, the Quadrantids have a very brief peak, lastly only a few hours.  This year the peak occurs during the afternoon of January 3rd at 2:30 p.m. PST.   The radiant of the shower does not rise above the eastern horizon until about 3 a.m. on January 4th .   Therefore, we will not see 100 meteors per hour but may observe only 15-20 per hour in dark skies.

Call UCC Observatory and leave a message  to get on the zoom list 541-440-4719


All UA in person Events Cancelled.

Umpqua Astronomers is a participating in the Astronomical League. This provides members with a quarterly national magazine, "the Reflector" and many observing project to help beginners to use a hands on approach to learn about astronomy. Umpqua Astronomers  is an active member of the Night Sky network , International Astronomical Union programs, the Global Astronomy Month, and  the International Observe the Moon program .  Club members are encouraged and supported in becoming comfortable learning and exploring the night sky.

Umpqua Astronomers are an active supporting partner of U.C.C.'s Paul Morgan Observatory. Club stargazing events are held at the observatory during spring to fall months.   Link to   Morgan Observatory website

All PMO events are cancelled due to the Novel Corona virus Covid 19 and winter cloudy weather. The Observatory anticipates opening for the public Spring 2022.