December 2016 Sky

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1 Moon near Mercury (18° from Sun, evening sky) at 5h UT. Mag. -0.5.
3 Moon near Venus (44° from Sun, evening sky) at 11h UT. Mag. -4.2.
Crescent Moon and Venus (APOD)
5 Moon near Mars (66° from Sun) at 9h UT. Mag. +0.7.
7 First Quarter Moon at 9:03 UT.
11 Mercury at greatest elongation east (21° from Sun, evening sky) at 4h UT. Mag. -0.4.
12 Moon near the Pleiades (evening sky) at 13h UT.
The Pleiades (Wikipedia)
12 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 23:27 UT (358,461 km; angular size 33.3′).
13 Moon very near Aldebaran (evening sky) at 3h UT. Occultation visible from USA, Mexico and Canada.
Occultation of Aldebaran (IOTA)
14 Full Moon at 00:06 UT.
14 Geminid Meteor Shower peaks at 17h UT. Major activity lasts 22 hours. Produces bright, medium-speed meteors at its peak (up to 80 meteors/hour). Most reliable meteor shower. Easy to observe (radiant shown on sky map). Best seen after midnight, but moonlight interferes badly in 2016.
Observing the Geminids (Gary Kronk)
Meteor Shower Calendar (IMO)
15 Moon near Castor (morning sky) at 23h UT.
16 Moon near Pollux (morning sky) at 3h UT.
17 Moon near Beehive cluster (morning sky) at 3h UT.
Beehive Cluster (Wikipedia)
M44: The Beehive Cluster (APOD)
18 Moon very near Regulus (morning sky) at 17h UT. Occultation visible from southwest Australia.
Occultation of Regulus (IOTA)
21 Last Quarter Moon at 1:56 UT.
21 December solstice at 10:44 UT. The time when the Sun reaches the point farthest south of the celestial equator marking the start of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the Southern Hemisphere.
December Solstice (Wikipedia)
22 Moon near Jupiter (morning sky) at 18h UT. Mag. -1.9.
23 Moon near Spica (morning sky) at 2h UT.
25 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 6h UT (distance 405,870 km; angular size 29.4′).
27 Moon near Saturn (16° from Sun, morning sky) at 21h UT. Mag. +0.5.
28 Mercury at inferior conjunction with the Sun at 19h UT. Mercury passes into the morning sky.
29 New Moon at 6:53 UT. Start of lunation 1163.
Lunation Number (Wikipedia)
December 2016 Sky All times Universal Time (UT). USA Eastern Summer Time = UT – 4 hours.

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