SKY WATCH DECEMBER 2017
by Bob Berman, as featured in The 2018 Old Farmer’s Almanac
(Note: Times listed below are ET.)
What’s in December’s night sky? Here are the highlights:
- A strange configuration rules the sky after Saturn and Mercury vanish on the 7th. Not a single naked-eye planet can be seen virtually all night, from nightfall until Mars and Jupiter finally rise before dawn.
- But 2017’s best meteor shower, the Geminids, delivers a superb show on the 13th, starting at around 9:00 p.m. A thin crescent Moon will not interfere. See our Geminid Meteor Shower page for all the details.
- Jupiter has a close meeting with the Moon on the 14th.
- The year’s most distant Moon is the new Moon on the 18th.
- Winter arrives with the solstice on the 21st at 11:28 a.m.
- At month’s end, Jupiter rises 3 hours before the Sun. Now in Libra, Jove approaches Mars and will very closely meet the Red Planet on January 6 and 7.