In the December 2016 Sky Watch you’ll find stargazing highlights and astronomy tips on what to see in this month’s night sky; check back each month for updates on the planets, Moon phases, Full Moon, conjunctions, meteor showers, solstices, equinoxes, and eclipses, courtesy of The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Sky Watch December 2016
by Bob Berman, as featured in The 2017 Old Farmer’s Almanac. (Note: Times listed below are ET.)
December highlights of the night sky:
- Venus finally makes its run to prominence, getting even higher and brighter as it meets the Moon on the 2nd and 3rd.
- Mercury lurks far lower as it starts a mediocre 3-week evening star apparition.
- Mars, just one-tenth as bright as it was in June, moves through Capricornus and into Aquarius, steadily sinking toward Venus.
- The solstice falls on the 21st at 5:44 A.M., inaugurating winter.
- On the predawn stage, the Moon floats above brilliant Jupiter early on the 22nd, with Virgo’s famous blue star Spica just beneath them both after 3:00 A.M.
- Much more challenging is dim returning Saturn meeting a hair-thin Moon very low in morning twilight on the 27th.
For a full year of Sky Watch—plus astronomical information—pick up a copy of The 2017 Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Sky Map December 2016
We offer printable sky maps, too, to help you know what you’re seeing when you look up!