AAA Observers’ December Guide
December’s Evening Planets: Find bright Venus and Mercury in Sagittarius the Archer until around 6 PM in the last week of December. Red Mars will be in Taurus the Bull all night. Jupiter will be in Pisces the Fish. Saturn can be seen in Capricornus the Sea-goat until 10 PM and setting earlier every night until 8 PM by the end of the month. Uranus will be in Cetus the Sea monster 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 9 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, 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: Red Mars could be seen in Taurus until sunrise. Uranus will be in Cetus until 5 AM, setting earlier each night until 3 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, Spica in Virgo, and Aldebaran in Taurus until the morning. See the stars of Leo, Gemini, Orion, Hydra, Hercules, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Draco, Perseus, and Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (the Big and Little Dippers).
- Dec 1 Moon is 3° below of Jupiter
- Dec 7 Moon is 0.5° above Mars
- Dec 7 Full Moon at 11:10 PM
- Dec 8 Mars is at opposition, closest distance to Earth in 2022
- Dec 8 Moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn line up – after sunset
- Dec 11 Moon at apogee (252,200 miles away)
- Dec 14 Geminids Meteor Shower peaks, pre-dawn
- Dec 21 Winter solstice
- Dec 16 Last Quarter Moon at 3:55 AM
- Dec 23 New Moon at 5:15 AM
- Dec 24 Moon at perigee (222,600 miles away) Closest to Earth in 2021
- Dec 27 Venus, Mercury, Saturn, Moon, Jupiter, and Mars line up at sunset
- Dec 29 Moon is 1.5° North of Venus, predawn
- Dec 29 First Quarter Moon at 8:20 PM
Times given in EDT.