Home | Library | Directory | Employment | Site Index | Contact Us


Community Learning Center Home
Planetarium Home
Shows
Guidelines
Video on the Dome
Quick Information
Current Headlines
Reservation Request

David Mayeux
Planetarium Director
(505) 566 - 3361

 

 
 

Current Astronomy "Headlines"


Full Moon
December 6


Last Quarter December 14


New Moon December 21


First Quarter
December 28

Listed below are notable astronomical events coming up for the month of
December 2014:

Naked-Eye Planets

Mercury
In December, Mercury is lost in the glare of the Sun all month long, coming to superior conjunction on the 8th. By the end of the month, however, Mercury is starting to approach Venus low in the west after sunset. January will be better for viewing Mercury!

Venus
Like Mercury, Venus begins December deep in the Sun’s glare, but already in the evening sky. Unfortunately, Venus stays pretty squarely deep in the Sun’s glare all month long until the very end of the month. Also as with Mercury, Venus will be far more viewable in January!

Mars
In December, Mars is in extreme eastern Sagittarius, crossing over into Capricornus early in the month. The waxing crescent Moon bypasses on Christmas Eve night, and Mars finishes the month about 2-3 degrees west of the bright star Deneb Algedi.

Jupiter
Jupiter starts December rising just before 10:30 p.m. in Leo, about 8-9 degrees NW of Regulus. Jupiter is in retrograde motion this month, and finishes the month actually a little closer to the border of Leo / Cancer than it was at the beginning! Early next month, Jupiter comes to opposition.

Saturn
In December, Saturn begins the month very deep in the Sun’s glare in the morning sky, but pulls away gradually all month long, rising ever earlier in the morning sky. The waning crescent Moon bypasses on the 19th, and Saturn rises at about 4:30 a.m. by month’s end.

Telescopic Planets

Uranus
In early December, Uranus begins the month in conjunction with the Moon in Pisces. The First Quarter Moon bypasses again on the 28th. Uranus finishes the month setting at about 12:30 a.m.

Neptune
Neptune is in the constellation Aquarius in the month of December, setting in the evening slightly before 11:30 p.m. The waxing crescent Moon comes closest on Christmas night, and Neptune sets at about 9:30 p.m. at month’s end.

Dwarf Planets

Ceres
Ceres is in the glare of the Sun all month long in December, coming to solar conjunction on the 10th. In order to spot Ceres in the evening sky, one will have to wait until January.

Pluto
In December, Pluto is in the constellation Sagittarius, very low over the western horizon after sunset. From there, Pluto continues its decline into the solar glare and is not really feasibly visible all month long. Pluto finishes December just days from solar conjunction.

****************************************************************************


 

****************************************************************************

*****

 

Meteor Showers - http://amsmeteors.org/showers.html

Viewable Comets - http://cometography.com/current_comets.html

Special events - http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/highlights

 

 

San Juan College, 2002.

All Rights Reserved.

 

4601 College Boulevard  Farmington, New Mexico  87402   505-326-3311

 

SJC Home  Library  Directory   Employment  Site Index  Contact Us