Saturday, December 1, 2012

Upcoming Space Events in December 2012

December 3: Jupiter at Opposition
The giant planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. This is the best time to view and photograph Jupiter and its moons.

December 13: New Moon
The Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth.

December 13, 14: Geminids Meteor Shower
Considered by many to be the best meteor shower in the heavens, the Geminids are known for producing up to 60 multicolored meteors per hour at their peak. The peak of the shower usually occurs around December 13 & 14, although some meteors should be visible from December 6 - 19. The radiant point for this shower will be in the constellation Gemini. This year the new moon will guarantee a dark sky for what should be an awesome show. Best viewing is usually to the east after midnight from a dark location.

December 21: December Solstice
The December solstice occurs at 11:12 UTC. The South Pole of the earth will be tilted toward the Sun, which will have reached its southernmost position in the sky and will be directly over the Tropic of Capricorn at 23.44 degrees south latitude. This is the first day of winter (winter solstice) in the northern hemisphere and the first day of summer (summer solstice) in the southern hemisphere.

December 28: Full Moon
The Moon will be directly opposite the Earth from the Sun and will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth.

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