December 2016 star calendar

Star calendar 1–31 December 2016

2 Dec     At dusk, Venus is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s left.

3 Dec     Venus is 3 finger-widths below the moon tonight. Mars is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper left. Altair, part of the Summer Triangle, is 2½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right.

4 Dec     Mars is less than 3 finger-widths to the moon’s left. With binoculars, see if you can spot iota Capricorni, ½ finger-width to the right of Mars.

5 Dec     Mars is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right.

6 Dec     Fomalhaut, in the constellation Pisces, is 2 fist-widths below the moon tonight.

11 Dec    The Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width to the moon’s left late tonight, and Capella is 3 fist-widths beyond the Pleiades. Aldebaran is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s lower left. Mercury is at its greatest elongation, 20.8 degrees, east of the sun and sets 1 hour 21 minutes after the sun.

12 Dec    Separated by a finger-width, the moon and Aldebaran rise a half hour before sunset, growing closer until the moon occults Aldebaran five hours later.

13 Dec    Several first-magnitude stars surround the moon late tonight. Aldebaran is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right, Betelgeuse is 1 fist-width to the lower right, Procyon is 3 fist-widths below or to the lower left, Pollux is 2 fist-widths to the upper left of Procyon, and Capella is 3 fist-widths to the moon’s upper left.

15 Dec    Late tonight, the moon is midway between Procyon to the lower right and Pollux to the upper left.

17 Dec    Regulus is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left at midnight.

18 Dec    Regulus is less than 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left before dawn.

20 Dec    Before dawn the last-quarter moon is midway between Regulus, 2 fist-widths to the upper right, and Jupiter, to the lower left. Spica is 2 finger-widths to Jupiter’s lower left.

21 Dec    Today marks the first day of winter as the sun reaches its greatest southerly declination at 1044 UT and begins its 6-month journey north.

22 Dec    This morning, Jupiter is 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower left, and Spica is less than 3 finger-widths beyond Jupiter.

23 Dec    Jupiter and Spica lay to the moon’s right this morning.

24 Dec    The equation of time is zero. Local mean time and sundial time are the same.

31 Dec    In the early evening, Venus is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper left, and Mars is another fist-width beyond Venus.

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