Current Moon Phase

Waning Crescent
41% of full

Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Looking Up: A Stargazer’s Guide to December 2013

Looking Up: A Stargazer’s Guide to December 2013

Here’s a quick look at what’s going on in the sky during the month of December, 2013:

December 2 — New Moon, 7:22 p.m. The Moon is not illuminated by direct sunlight.

December 4 — Moon at perigee, 5:05 a.m. (its closest point to the Earth).

December 6 — Venus at greatest illumination. Our nearest neighbor wont be this bright again until 2021.

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

December 9 — First Quarter Moon, 10:12 a.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is increasing.

December 13 — Geminid meteor shower. 2013 is expected to be an unfavorable year for this major shower.

December 17 — Full Cold Moon, 8:48 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.

December 19 — Moon at apogee, 7:00 p.m. (its farthest point from the Earth).

December 21 — Winter Solstice, 12:11 p.m. The Sun reaches its farthest point south of the celestial equator.

December 22 — Ursid meteor shower. 2013 is expected to be an unfavorable year for this sometimes strong shower.

December 25— Last Quarter Moon, 8:48 a.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is decreasing.

5 comments

1 Jaime McLeod { 12.02.13 at 3:54 pm }
2 Jaime McLeod { 12.02.13 at 10:25 am }

Hi Barbara,
We just don’t know yet. Comets are famously unpredictable.

3 Michael Amato { 11.28.13 at 6:52 pm }

It looks like Comet ISON did not survive its trip around the sun. The SOHO views showed only a small part of the comet re-emerging from the other side of the sun. Now that’s disappointing!

4 Barbara { 11.27.13 at 1:43 pm }

Yes, Happy Holidays to all! … Was hoping for more info on comet ISON. Will it be visible to the unaided eye?

5 Theresa Connors Elliot { 11.27.13 at 10:24 am }

December should be an excellent month for stargazing. I am looking forward to the Winter Solstice. Thanks for the interesting information. Happy Holidays!

Leave a Comment

Note: Comments that further the discussion of the above content are likely to be approved. Those comments that are vague or are simply submitted in order to promote a product, service or web site, although not necessarily considered "spam," are generally not approved.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.