Sky Watch: December 2015

December 1, 2015

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

skymap_november2015-360.pngUse our Sky Maps (Star Charts) to locate the stars, planets, and other objects in the sky. 

We offer printable sky maps, too, to help you know what you’re seeing when you look up!

Click here for our free monthly Sky Map!


The 2015 Old Farmer's Almanac


Reader Comments

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8 December - Meteor

Last night - 8 December - I was lucky to catch sight of what could only be described as a an amazing meteor above Southampton. It had a long orange glowing tail and seemed to trail across the sky much slower than the shooting stars I've seen in the past before burning out. It also appeared to be much bigger. I'm not a star gazer at all but seeing it last night made me put in a google search and found this site. Think a telescope is definitely now on my xmas wish list if not before!!