THE BIG SKY
Following on from last month’s headline gathering of Mars, Neptune and the Moon boaters with a keen stargazing eye have more celestial meetings to target in this year’s countdown to Christmas.
Early risers on the morning of 3rd December get a dazzling view of Venus and a thin crescent moon hanging low in the south-east between 6am and 7am; a very photogenic scene ahead of sunrise.
A gathering of shooting stars from 12th - 14th December offers sky watchers a different experience. The Geminids meteor shower will be in full swing on those nights. Simply step outside and look up towards your south-east from 8pm onwards to watch the show. On the 14th too the Moon meets Mars…again. Look low down towards the south-west early evening for the best view. It’s an easy-to-see gathering with Mars shining brightly as a red-yellow ‘star’ above the moon.
More of a challenge is the celestial encounter that lies in wait at dawn on the shortest day. A pairing of Jupiter and Mercury shine low down towards the south-east horizon shortly after 7am on 21st December.