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Jupiter-Saturn-Moon Dec 2020

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

December 2020: A Busy Month

Step outside after sunset this month to spot Jupiter and Saturn's dramatic pairing, 2020's best meteor shower, and more!

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, November 27 – December 5

Bright Jupiter and Saturn are almost as close together now as modest, 3rd-magnitude Alpha and Beta Capricorni above them. Wait for full dark to catch the faint stars.

SkyWatch 2021

Stargazing Basics

SkyWatch 2021 — Four Seasons Under the Stars

SkyWatch is back! Whether you're new to astronomy or a seasoned practitioner, SkyWatch 2021 has something for everyone.

Capella and the Kids

Night Sky Sights

Meet Capella, the Goat Star

Capella is the sixth-brightest star in the sky — and it's more than one star! The main two stars in the system are near-twins, bright yellow giants.

Moon under Mars, Nov 24-26, 2020

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, November 20 – 28

Whenever Fomalhaut is "southing" (crossing the meridian due south), the first stars of Orion are just about to rise above the east horizon. And, the Pointers of the Big Dipper stand upright low due north, straight below Polaris.

2001 Leonid storm

Solar System

Leonid Meteor Shower to the Rescue

Modest but reliable, the annual Leonid meteor shower returns this week. Take an hour or two to relax and enjoy the show.

Moon under Jupiter and Saturn, Nov. 18-19, 2020

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, November 13 – 21

Jupiter and Saturn draw together in the southwest these evenings. Mars dominates the sky to the east. By about 8 p.m. Orion is clearing the eastern horizon, and Sirius follows two hours behind.

Venus, Moon and Mercury in the eastern dawn, Nov. 13, 2020

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, November 6 – 14

After dark this week, Capella in the northeast. Look for the Pleiades three fists to Capella's right. After dark this week, Capella sparkles in the northeast. Look for the Pleiades about three fists to Capella's right. Early signs of winter constellations!

Cool blue world

Planets

Tiny Asteroid Flora and Mighty Uranus Team Up

Both Uranus and the asteroid 8 Flora came to opposition on Halloween. Catch them both in the same corner of the sky the next clear night.

Moon in the Winter Hexagon November 2020

Night Sky Sights

Watch the Moon Journey Across the Winter Hexagon

About once a month this winter, we can watch the Moon take a four-day journey across a field of stars termed the "Winter Hexagon."

Venus and Mercury on Nov 13th

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

November 2020: Cassiopeia Rules

With the return to standard time, November evenings come very early for northern observers — a chance to get in some quick stargazing before dinner!

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, October 30 – November 7

Full Moon and Mars for Halloween: The Moon rises in the east about a half hour after sunset on Saturday the 31st, depending on your location. That bright orange dot off to its upper right is Mars.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, October 23 – 31

The Ghost of Summer Suns: Halloween is approaching, and this means that Arcturus, the star sparkling low in the west-northwest in twilight, is taking on its role as "the Ghost of Summer Suns."

ATLAS with a tail

Comets

Comets Crawl through the Skies at Dawn and Dusk

Comets have been scarce since NEOWISE departed the scene. Not anymore. Suddenly, there are four fresh faces visible from dusk til dawn.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Weeks' Sky at a Glance, October 16 – 24

Mars is edging away a bit now from its close approach to Earth, but on the other hand, it rises higher into fine telescopic view earlier in the night.

Moon in Gemini

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, October 9 – 17

Mars comes to opposition on October 13th. Although it was closest to Earth on the 6th, it is still at virtually the same distance all week, remaining 22.5 to 22.0 arcseconds in apparent diameter. This is bigger than we will see it again until September 2035.

Mars the magnificent

Celestial News & Events

Behold Mars! The Best View Until 2035

After a two-years hiatus Mars returns big and bright at opposition on October 13th, its best apparition until September 2035.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, October 2 – 10

Mars is closer this week than it will be until 2035! The Moon pairs up closely with Mars on Friday the 2nd — and occults Mars for parts of South America. Jupiter and Saturn, meanwhile, remain at their highest and best right around nightfall, lower in the south.

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

October 2020: Mars is the Star!

October evenings offer many wonderful night-sky sights — including a dramatic appearance by Mars — and you can find them by listening to our guided audio tour of the star-filled sky.

Moon over Sequoia National Park

People, Places, and Events

International Observe the Moon Night Is Here

International Observe the Moon Night is here. Step outside Saturday evening and admire our closest celestial neighbor with your family.

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