Welcome to the December 2015 Sky Watch, courtesy of The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Here are the month’s night sky highlights, including conjunctions, meteor showers, and planets.
Sky Watch December 2015
by Bob Berman, as featured in The Old Farmer’s Almanac
(Note: Times listed below are ET.)
What’s up in December? Here are the highlights:
- It’s still a post-midnight party for all of the bright planets. Dawn now finds Jupiter at its highest, in the southeast, with Venus lowest, floating left of Virgo’s blue main star Spica. Still faint but brightening Mars hovers in between.
- The Moon passes just below Jupiter on the 4th and eye-catchingly close to Venus during the wee hours of the 7th, for a major don’t-miss conjunction.
- This year brings a rare second fabulous meteor shower under ideal moonless skies, when the Geminids blaze on the 13th starting at around 8:00 p.m. These “shooting stars” are strangely slow, at half the speed of summer’s Perseids.
- Winter begins with the solstice on the 21st, at 11:48 p.m.
For a full year of Sky Watch—plus astronomical information—pick up a copy of The 2016 Old Farmer’s Almanac—just released!
Sky Map December 2015
We offer printable sky maps, too, to help you know what you’re seeing when you look up!