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Eye on the Night Sky

Eye on the Night Sky

December 8, 2016

Nightly Events

  • Tonight:

    Jupiter remains limited to the morning skies this month, though it rises a few minutes earlier each and every night, climbing into the east-northeast just after 2 o'clock, joined by the star Spica below. The pair will fade in the increasing twilight after 6 o'clock. Jupiter rises about an hour earlier at month's end.

  • December 9:

    This afternoon is the shortest afternoon of the year, featuring the earliest sunset. Although the shortest day of the year isn't until the 21st, the Earth is slightly closer to the Sun, causing it to orbit a little faster, which in turn delays the sunset in the days before the Winter Solstice. Morning sunrises are likewise later through early January.

  • December 10:

    Saturn, such a fine sight this past summer and fall, has been lost in the Sun's glare over the last four weeks, and today passes behind the Sun from our viewpoint, a configuration known as a conjunction. It will then transition into the morning skies, and be visible to early risers late in the month.