Monday, December 3, 2012

What's Up For December Skies



Constellations
Courtesy oneminuteastronomer.com


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Each month there is something magical about our night skies.  You just have to look up to see the wonder and beauty of the universe.

Jupiter at Opposition

A Cassini image of Jupiter and
Europa's shadow.

(Dec. 3, 2012) The big planet will be at its closest approach to Earth, with it's face fully illuminated by the Sun. If you have a large telescope and camera, there is no better time to view and photograph Jupiter and its many moons.





Switching partners

At the start of December, Saturn and Venus began moving away from each other, until Saturn takes on the waning crescent Moon, as it's new partner.  Before daybreak on December 10, Saturn and the moon will partner up and then before the sun rises on Dec. 11, Venus will once again partner up with the Moon.

Shooting stars

Watch from late evening to early morning hours, the Geminid meteor shower (Dec. 4-17), which will peak on the night of Dec. 13-14.  At it's best, the Geminids could possibly produce up to 120 meteors per hour and will appear to radiate from the constellation Gemini (thus the name).
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Sources:

One Minute Astronomer

Jupiter- Wikipedia

Meteor Showers Online


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