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Looking Up: A Stargazer’s Guide to December 2012

Looking Up: A Stargazer’s Guide to December 2012

Here’s a quick look at what’s going on in the sky during the month of December, 2012:

December 6— Last Quarter Moon, 10:32 a.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is decreasing.

December 7 — Earliest sunset of the year at 40° N latitude.

December 12 — Moon at perigee (its closest point to the Earth).

December 13— New Moon, 3:42 a.m. The Moon is not illuminated by direct sunlight.

December 13 — Geminid meteor shower. 2012 is expected to be a very favorable year for this often-strong shower.

December 20 — First Quarter Moon, 12:19 a.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is increasing.

December 20 — Coma Berenicid meteor shower. A minor northern hemisphere shower.

December 21 — Winter Solstice, 6:11 a.m. The Sun reaches its farthest point south of the celestial equator.

December 21 — End of the Mayan Calendar.

December 23 — Ursid meteor shower. 2012 is expected to be a favorable year for this occasionally major shower.

December 25 — Moon at apogee (its farthest point from the Earth).

December 28 — Full Cold Moon, 5:21 a.m. The visible Moon is fully illuminated by direct sunlight. Though the Moon is only technically in this phase for a few seconds, it is considered “full” for the entire day of the event, and appears full for three days.

8 comments

1 Carla { 11.30.12 at 3:18 pm }

I also would like to know about the cosmic alignment on Dec. 21. The first time in 26,000 years? You’d think it would be on here!

2 Jaime McLeod { 11.30.12 at 11:04 am }

Judy, yes.

3 Janet groves { 11.30.12 at 9:41 am }

Muffie Moore you are seeing jupitar. It is quite brite a beautiful this time of year.

4 Judy { 11.29.12 at 12:34 pm }

For the Geminid and Ursid meteor showers, are the dates given for the early am of that date, 12am and after?

5 muffie moore { 11.28.12 at 10:42 pm }

There is a full moon tonight – Nov. 28 – and there is a very bright “something” at about 11:00 next to it. Is it a star or a planet? I want to know what I’m wishing on!

6 Barbara Horness { 11.28.12 at 12:42 pm }

I also would like to know more about the alignment of the sun, moon, planets, etc, on December 21 soltice.

7 tena lanthier { 11.28.12 at 12:13 pm }

I realy enjoy reading you have to ofer such a wide range of things their is something for everyone

8 Joe Brutzman { 11.28.12 at 11:08 am }

Can you tell us more about the alignment of sun moon planets and stars on this special Dec. 21 solstice 2012?

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