What's up this month (December)
all times based on mid month
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.
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.
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 recently passed behind the sun and is not visible being only 8 degrees from the sun.
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 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 Objects
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
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
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
Here are a few of the double stars to look out for this month, see if you can split them.
Albireo, Cygnus Beta star
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
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...
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
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.