December Dark Skies

3'd: Conjunction of Moon and Mars (figure 1). Visible, 06:25 (GMT), in the South, East, before fading from view at 07:40. Moon will be 358260 km from Earth and Mars will be 370.5 million km from Earth. Visible to the unaided eye or with a   air of binoculars. Both will be in constellation
Libra (figure 2).

Figure 1.

Figure 2.

5th/6th: Peak of ‹p (Phi) Cassiopeid (Andromedids) meteor shower (figure 3/4) active, 1st  to 8th. Best displays approximately 21:00. Chance of seeing 3 meteors/hour in constellation Andromeda.

Peak Night: 5/6 Dec ,
Parent body: Comet 3D/Biela

Capella  *

Figure 3.

Figure 4.

7th: Conjunction and close approach of Moon and Venus (figure 5). Visible 16:35 (GMT), above South, West. Constellation Sagittarius (figure 6). Visible to the unaided eye or through binoculars. Moon will be 365120 km from Earth and Venus will be 57.7 million km from Earth.

Figure 5.

Figure 6.

8th: Conjunction and close approach of Moon and Saturn (figure 7). Visible 16:35 (GMT), above Southern horizon. Setting 20:20. Both in constellation Capricornus (figure 8). Moon will be 370267 km from Earth and Saturn will be 1569 million km from Earth.

Figure 7.

Figure 8.

8th: Monocerotid meteor shower (figure 9). Active, 27th  November to 17th December, maximum 8th/9th. Constellation Monocerous (figure 10). Visible, 19:00 to 07:30, radiant point above horizon in the East. Parent body, minor planet 2004 TG10. Possibility of 2 — 3 meteors per hour.

Figure 9.

Figure 10.

9th: Conjunction and close approach of Moon and Jupiter (figure 11). Visible 16:35 (GMT), above Southern horizon. Reaching highest point, 17:00. Observable until 20:50. Constellation Capricornus (figure 8). Visible to the unaided eye or through binoculars. Moon, 376140 km from Earth, Jupiter 788 million km away.

Figure 11.

12th: o (sigma) Hydrid meteor shower peak. Starting 3rd, ending 15th. Constellation Hydra (figure 12/13). Visible 21:05 each night, above Eastern horizon. Active until 07:30. Producing best displays, 03:00 GMT, with approximately 3 meteors per hour.

Figure 12.

Figure 13.

14th: Peak of Geminid meteor shower (figure 14). Active 7th  to 17th. Constellation Gemini (figure 15). Active throughout darkness. Best displays 02:00 GMT, with upto 120 meteors per hour. Parent body, minor planet 3200 Phaethon.

Figure 14.

Figure 15.

16th: Peak of Comae Berenicid meteor shower (figure 16), active 12th  to 23rd. Visible 22:35 each night, above Eastern horizon. Active until 07:35. Possibility of seeing 3 meteors per hour. Constellation Leo (figure 17).

Figure 16.

Figure 17.

19th/20th: Peak of Leonis Minorid meteor shower (figure 18). Active 5th December to 4th  February. Constellation Leo Minor (figure 19), producing 5 meteors per hour. Visible 19:55 until 07:40 each night. Best displays 05:00 GMT.

Figure 18.

Figure 19.

21st: December Solstice (figure 20/21). Shortest day of 2021 in Northern hemisphere, midwinter day.

The  Sun‘s Rays Rotation  Axis 214°.’ Arctic circle

Equator Antarctic circle

Figure 20.

Figure 21.:Equinox Y

22nd/23'd  Peak of Ursid meteor shower (figure 22). Active 17th  to 26th, constellation Ursa Minor
(figure 23). Producing 10 to 50 meteors/hour. Active through the night. Parent body, comet

Figure 22.

Figure 23.

27th: Moon, last quarter (figure 24). Visible, 01:05, in the East. Reaching highest point, 06:20,
in the South. Disappearing, 07:58. Appearing approximately  half illuminated it will be 375938 km
from Earth.

Figure 24.

WARNING: Never attempt to view through binoculars, telescope or any optical aid an object near to the Sun. Also, never attempt to view the Sun, aided or unaided, doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness. Always use astronomical approved viewing equipment.

The Stellarium software will assist greatly in locating objects in the sky.

Mark R Smith FRAS FRi

Nuclear Physicist:

Nuclear Fusion Physics