Don’t miss the bright planets tomorrow, the full Cold Moon on the 11th, and the best meteor shower of the year on the 13th
December is full of surprises and not just under the Christmas tree. Look to the night sky for some of the shiniest gifts this season, says the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
According to Astronomer Bob Berman’s “Guide to the Bright Planets,” here are three gems happening this week, starting tomorrow night:
December 10: Venus aligns with Saturn. The two planets can be viewed hovering just 2 degrees apart in the southwestern sky after sunset.
December 11: Full Cold Moon. The last full moon of the year stays high in the night sky longer than any other full moon, marking the longest, coldest nights of the year just before winter solstice. It reaches its peak fullness at 12:12 am on 12/12 this year, which astronomers see as a good omen.
December 13: Geminid Meteor Shower. The Geminid Meteor Shower is the most active meteor shower of the year. It lasts for two weeks in early to mid December, peaking on December 13. The shower really starts ramping up at 9 pm and becomes most impressive at 2 am.
For the best viewing experience, go out when the moon is low in the sky and face away from its shining surface, Berman says.
December 21: Solstice: Winter Solstice begins at 11:19 pm this year, which is when the sun’s path reaches its southernmost position. It’s the longest night of the year, which means you’ll have plenty of time to view the night sky.