Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Sky Events December 2015

Moon Phases

Thursday, December 3, 2:40 p.m. EST

Last Quarter Moon

The Last Quarter Moon rises around 11:45 p.m. and sets around 1 p.m. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky.

Friday, December 11, 5:29 a.m. EST

New Moon

The Moon is not visible on the date of New Moon because it is too close to the Sun, but can be seen low in the East as a narrow crescent a morning or two before, just before sunrise. It is visible low in the West an evening or two after New Moon.

Friday, December 18, 10:14 a.m. EST

First Quarter Moon

The First Quarter Moon rises around 12:30 p.m. and sets around 1 a.m. It dominates the evening sky.

Friday, December 25, 6:11 a.m. EST

Full Moon

The December Full Moon is known as the Oak Moon, Cold Moon or Long Nights Moon. It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise; this is the only night in the month when the Moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the Moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky.

Observing Highlights

Jupiter and the Moon

Friday, December 4, dawn

Jupiter will be 2 degrees north of the Moon.

Venus and the Moon

Monday, December 7, morning

Venus will about a degree away from the Moon at dawn. The Moon will move to occult Venus over most of North America around noon EST, a good opportunity to locate Venus in the daytime sky.

Geminid meteors

Monday–Tuesday, December 14–15, midnight to dawn

The Geminid meteor shower, one of the most reliable in the year, peaks near midday on December 14, so the best times to observe will be between midnight and dawn on the mornings of the 14th and 15th.


Monday, December 21, 11:48 p.m.

The Sun reaches its southernmost declination for the year, resulting in the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and the longest day of the year in the southern hemisphere.

Mercury at greatest eastern elongation

Tuesday, December 29, dusk

Mercury will be well placed for observation in the western sky about half an hour after sunset.

Jupiter and the Moon

Wednesday, December 30, before midnight

Jupiter and the Moon are close in the sky, and rise together just before midnight.


Mercury is well placed low in the western sky at the end of the month.

Venus continues to shine brightly at dawn all month, but is dropping towards the Sun.

Mars, in the morning sky, moves eastward in Virgo all month.

Jupiter shines brightly in Leo rising around midnight.

Saturn is too close to the Sun to be observed all month.

Uranus is well placed in Pisces in the evening sky all month.

Neptune sets in the late evening in the constellation Aquarius.

Geoff Gaherty
Starry Night Software Support
All graphics © 2015 Starry Night Software