December's solstice means that for many skywatchers the night will be up to 14 hours long — providing lots of time to enjoy the starry sky. This month’s celestial highlights are the close approach of the Moon and Mars (and, for many, a coverup) on December 7th and the Gemind meteor shower on the December 13th. Our fun and factual Sky Tour podcast provides all the details.
Mars is closest to Earth this week, closer and brighter than we'll see it again until 2033. By late evening it's high overhead in excellent telescopic view.
The Moon shines in the east with ever-brightening Mars, then it wanes down into the early morning hours to leave the evenings dark for deep-sky observing. Jupiter glares on high. Vega and its binary accompaniments await you in the west.
Set the alarm and bring plenty of coffee. We've got a total lunar eclipse coming that you don't want to miss.
For most of us, November's switch to standard time means that evening comes early enough to do some casual stargazing before dinnertime. So download or stream our Sky Tour astronomy podcast to find out about this month's lunar eclipse, possible meteor surprises, and much more.
The Summer Triangle Effect, a double shadow on Jupiter, the waxing Moon photobombs the solar system's two giants, an Algol dip — plan your skywatching week.
The Moon poses with Antares at dusk. A few nights later, lunar sunrise unveils the sharp black line of the Straight Wall in Mare Nubium for small-telescope users. Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars span the evening sky. Mercury climbs onstage at dawn.
Cygnus and the Milky Way cross the zenith after the end of twilight. Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars await your scope through the night. A thin crescent Moon poses favorably at dawn — because it's cupped.