Space Science at UTK

Cool Things in the Sky

Cool Things

For the month of December 2018

 

Mars is high in the south at sunset midmonth and is joined by a waxing crescent moon on the 14th.


Crescent Venus is up in the predawn East-southeastern sky and is joined by a thin waxing crescent moon on the 3rd.


Mercury is low in the East-southeast in the dawn skies around the 5th of the month and gets a bit higher through the 12th before it begins to recede the rest of the month. Mercury joins Jupiter for a nice conjunction on the 21st and 22nd.


Jupiter rises into the morning skies early this month and is an easy target later in the month.


Saturn is too close to the sun to observe this month.


The moon phases for this month are new on the 7th, 1st quarter on the 15th, full on the 22nd and last quarter on the 29th.


The Geminid Meteors grace the skies on the morning of the 13th and compete early evening with a waxing crescent moon. Moonset occurs at 10:16 PM so the skies will be dark enough to take in those meteors.


The Winter Solstice will occur on the 21st at 5:23 PM. The sun will be lowest in the sky at local noon for the year bringing our shortest day and longest night.