Highlights of the Night Sky in December

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Here are some of the highlights of the December sky:

  • 6 PM, southwestern sky – Mars over the southwestern horizon just after sunset
  • 5:30 PM, southwestern sky – Venus joins Mars low over the horizon later in the month
  • 11:30 PM, eastern sky – Jupiter rises in the east
  • 6:30 AM, southeastern sky – Saturn rises before sunrise
  • 8 PM, northeastern sky – Perseus constellation with the open cluster Messier 34 and the Double Cluster, located between Perseus and Cassiopeia constellations
  • 8 PM, northeastern sky – Cassiopeia constellation with the familiar W asterism, the double star Eta Cassiopeiae, and the open star cluster Messier 103
  • 1 AM, southeastern sky – Geminid meteor shower, with a radiant in Gemini, peaking on the night of December 13 to 14, with up to 60 meteors per hour
  • 3 AM, northern sky – Ursid meteor shower, radiating from the bowl of the Little Dipper in Ursa Minor, peaking on the night of December 22 to 23
  • Pleiades cluster (Messier 45) in Taurus near an almost full Moon on December 4 and 5 in the eastern sky a few hours after sunset
  • 7 PM, southwestern sky – Comet Siding Spring in Ophiuchus constellation and Comet PanSTARRS in the direction of Sculptor on December 23

Related: December constellations