What’s Up in the December Sky

Evening sky, looking south at 7:00PM EDT on Saturday, 07 Dec. 2019 Sky Safari star chart annotated (Graphic for iPad) by Peter Tagatac

December’s Evening Planets

Bright Venus will be up until around 7 PM moving between Sagittarius the Archer and Capricornus the Sea- Capricornus the Sea-goat.  Saturn is in Sagittarius the Archer until 8 PM and setting earlier every night until 6 PM by the end of the month. Uranus will be in Pisces the Fish and Neptune in Aquarius the Water Bearer.

December’s Evening Stars

Spot the Summer Triangle of Vega in Lyra the Harp; Deneb in Cygnus the Swan; and Altair in Aquila the Eagle, until 8 PM, setting earlier every night. The Winter Triangle of Sirius (the brightest star viewed from Earth) in Canis Major the Great Dog; Betelgeuse in Orion the Hunter; and Procyon in Canis Minor the Small Dog, will be up as of 9 PM. Find Castor and Pollux in Gemini the Twins, Rigel in Orion, Aldebaran in Taurus the Bull, and bright Capella in Auriga the Charioteer. See the stars of constellations Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Perseus, Cepheus, Draco, Aries, Taurus, Pegasus, and Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (the Big and Little Dippers).

December’s Morning Planets

Mercury could be seen moving between Libra the Scales and Scorpio the Scorpion as of 6 AM in the first half of December.  Mars will be up at 4 AM, moving between Virgo the Maiden and Libra the Scales. Uranus will be in Pisces until 4 AM, setting earlier each night until 2 AM by the end of the month.

December’s Morning Stars

The Winter Triangle of Sirius, Betelgeuse, and Procyon will be up until morning. Find Capella in Auriga, Arcturus in Boötes the Herdsman, Spica in Virgo, and Aldebaran in Taurus until the morning. See the stars of Leo, Gemini, Orion, Hydra, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Draco, Perseus, and Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (the Big and Little Dippers).

December Skylights

  • Dec   4  First quarter Moon at 2:00 AM
  • Dec   4  Moon at apogee (251,300 miles away)
  • Dec   5  Venus, Venus, Jupiter align (sunset)
  • Dec 10  Saturn is 2° north of Venus (midnight)
  • Dec 12  Full Moon at 12:12 AM
  • Dec 14  Geminid Meteor Shower peaks- predawn
  • Dec 18  Moon at perigee (230,100 miles away)
  • Dec 18  Last quarter Moon at 11:55 PM
  • Dec 21  Winter solstice at 11:20 PM
  • Dec 22  Mars is  south of the Moon
  • Dec 26  New Moon at 12:15 AM
  • Dec 28  Venus is 1° north of the Moon

 Times given in EDT.