Dark Sky News
Click here for the SAS Pictures of the Month (December)!
Dec. 2 @ 5:42:59 pm: as bright as Venus, travelling overhead from NW to SE disappearing into Earth’s shadow just before hitting Jupiter!
Dec. 3 @ 4:54:32: brighter than Jupiter, travelling the same but not quite overhead across almost the entire sky!
Dec. 5 @ 4:54:06: still brighter than Jupiter, travelling overhead NW to SE just grazing Vega across the entire sky!
The planet Mercury reaches greatest eastern elongation of 21.3 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the planet low in the western sky just after sunset.
19:52 EST, Europa’s shadow begins to cross Jupiter.
20:40 EST, Europa ends transit of Jupiter.
21:38 EST, Io enters occultation behind Jupiter.
22:18 EST, Europa’s shadow leaves Jupiter’s disk.
00:36 EST, Io exits eclipse by Jupiter’s shadow.
The Geminids is king of meteor showers, considered by many to be the best shower in the heavens, and producing up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour at its peak. The meteors originate from debris left behind by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon, discovered in 1982. The shower runs annually from December 7-17 and, in the dark sky of a nearly new moon, should be an excellent show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Gemini, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
The Ursids is a minor meteor shower producing about 5-10 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Tuttle, which was first discovered in 1790. Meteors will radiate from around the north star but can appear anywhere in the sky.
Don’t miss this! Both Ganymede and Europa shadows transit Jupiter! Most of the action happens roughly between 5-7pm Saturday night with Jupiter reasonably high in the sky. Here are the details:
16:56 EST, Europa’s shadow begins to cross Jupiter.
17:00 EST, Europa ends transit of Jupiter.
17:08 EST, Ganymede’s shadow begins to cross Jupiter.
19:02 EST, Ganymede’s shadow leaves Jupiter’s disk.
19:22 EST, Io exits eclipse by Jupiter’s shadow.
19:24 EST, Europa’s shadow leaves Jupiter’s disk.