What's up this month (December)

all times based on mid month

Neptune

God of the see

Neptune is an early evening object, visible after dusk from about 17:21 31 degrees above the south eastern horizon which will be its highest point for the evening and sets at 22:52.  

Uranus

Little Blue Marble

Uranus is still a good object this month, it is visible from 17:23 and at its highest 20:11 49 degrees above the southern horizon and will set at 03:11. A large scope should easily be able to see this blue marble.

Saturn

Still visible in the early evening

Saturn will soon pass behind the sun at solar conjunction and at its highest point during the day so no longer visible in our night skies.

Jupiter

Daytime high.

 

Jupiter recently passed behind the sun and is not visible being only 8 degrees from the sun.

Venus

Good Morning Venus

Venus rises at 03:48 and can be seen at  a height of 25 degrees above the horizon to the south east before fading into the dawn skies at around 07:29. Venus sets by 13:59. A keen viewer may still be able to see it with a telescope after it has faded from naked eye observing.

Mars

Mars still prominent 

Mars becomes visible after dusk by 16:35 mid month reaching its highest point of 33 degrees at 17:44. it will  set at 23:23. If have been watching it over the last few months since making its closest pass to earth since 2004 will notice its brightness and apparent size decreasing  as it moves away from Earth in its orbit around the sun.

Deep Sky

Deep Sky Objects

Open Clusters:

M45 (mag 1.6) 13:40 - 06:56

M44 (mag 3.1) 19:06 - 11:14

NGC869 (mag 3.7) all night

NGC884 (mag 3.8) all night

NGC1981 (mag 4.2) 18:24 - 05:47

M47 (mag 4.4) 21:23 - 06:50

NGC6633 (mag 4.6) 06:17 - 19:37

IC4756 (mag 4.6) 06:35 - 1943

NGC884 (mag 6.1) all night

Globular Clusters:

M5 (mag 5.7) 03:34 - Dawn

M13 (mag 5.8) all night

M3 (mag 6.4) 22:52 - 17:30

M15 (mag 6.4) 08:47 - 23:12

M92 (mag 6.5) all night

M2 (mag 6.2) 10:04 - 22:02

Galaxies:

M31 (mag 3.4) all night

NGC2232 (mag 4.2) 19:19 - 06:37

NGC2244 (mag 4.8) 18:29 - 0735:

M33 (mag 4.3) 10:19 - 05:51

M81 (mag 6.9) all night

M82 (mag 4.6) all night

M101 (mag 7.9) 17:19 - all night

M110 (mag 8.1) 17:19 - all night

M104 (mag 8.0) 02:12 - all night

M32 (mag 8.1) 17:19 - all night

M94 (mag 8.2) 23:56 - all night

M51 (mag 8.4) 23:46 - all night

NGC2403 (mag 8.4) all night

Double Stars

Seeing Double

Here are a few of the double stars to look out for this month, see if you can split them.

Albireo, Cygnus Beta star

Andromeda doubles:

Almach (Gamma Andromedae), Yellow / Blue

59 Andromodae, Blue / Blue

56 Andromodae, Yellow / Yellow / Dim

6 Trianguli, Yellow / Blue

Lambda Arietis, Yellow / Blue

Mesarthim, White / White

Cassiopeia doubles:

Iota Cassiopeiae, White / White / White

Struve 163, Orange / Blue / Blue

Eta Cassiopeiae, Yellow / Red

Burnham 1, 4x White

Struve 3053, Orange / Blue

Sigma Cassiopeiae, Blue / Blue

There are lots more...

Bright Stars

Get your bearings

These are a few of the brighter stars and their constellations.

Aldebaran, constellation Hyades

Capella, constellation Auriga

Castor & Pollux, constellation Gemini

Deneb, constellation Cygnus

Rigel, constellation Orion

Vega, constellation Lyra

Altair, constellation Aquila

Betelgeuse, constellation Orion

Procyon, constellation Canis Minor

Sirius, constellation Canis Major 

ISS Transits

International Space Station

There is website link to ISS transits on our links page

There are no direct transits of the Lunar or Solar disk that are visible from our area this month.

 

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