Space Science at UTK

Cool Things in the Sky

Cool Things

For the month of December 2023


The Geminid meteors will be at full throttle on the night of the 13th and morning of the 14th. The moon is new on the 12th so it poses no threat to observing meteors. Expect to see as many as 100 per hour during peak moments.

The longest night and the shortest day occur on the 21st at 10:27 pm. The Winter Solstice signals the days about to become longer as the sun is lowest in the south at local noon for the entire year.

Saturn and Jupiter still dominate the evening sky though Saturn sets around 10:30 pm midmonth and sits just above a waxing crescent moon on the 17th. Jupiter is very bright most of the night setting around 3:45 am midmonth and is joined by a waxing gibbous moon on the 21st and 22nd.

Mercury appears low in the in the WSW just after sunset but falls rapidly back in toward earth after the 4th.

Venus is rising around 4:00 am early this month and is joined by a waning crescent moon on the 9th.

The moon phases for this month are last quarter on the 5th, new on the 12th, 1st quarter on the 19thand full on the 26th.