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The Night Sky in December

Nature volume 154, page 666 (25 November 1944) | Download Citation



FULL moon occurs on Nov. 30d. 00h. 52m. U.T. and also on Dec. 29d. 14h. 38m.; new moon occurs on Dec. 15d. 14h. 34m. The following conjunctions with the moon take place: Dec. 2d. 08h., Saturn 0·1° N.; Dec. 8d. 09h., Jupiter 4° S.; Dec. 16d. 17h., Mercury 1° S.; Dec. 19d. 00h., Venus 0·2° S.; Dec. 29d. 14h., Saturn 0·3° N. In addition to these occultations, Mercury is in conjunction with Mars, Mercury 3·6° N on Dec. 29d. 05h. The following occultations of stars brighter than magnitude 6 take place: Dec. 3d. 2h. 53·9m., 63 Gemi. (R); Dec. 27d. 17h. 40·2m., i Taur. (D). The times refer to the latitude of Greenwich and D and R refer to disappearance and reappearance, respectively. Mercury sets about an hour after the sun at the beginning and middle of the month and is in inferior conjunction on December 23. Venus sets at 18h. 20m., 18h. 58m., and 19h. 46m. at the beginning, middle and end of the month respectively. Mars is too close to the sun for favourable observation, rising 16m. before the sun on December 1 and 46m. before the sun on December 31. Jupiter rises at midnight in the middle of the month and is a conspicuous object during the morning hours. Saturn rises at 17h. 57m., 16h. 53m., and 15h. 43m. at the beginning, middle and end of the month respectively and can be seen south of e Geminorum. Winter solstice is on Dec. 2 1d. 23h. The Geminid meteors are active in the early part of the month.

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