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  Sky Calendar -- December 2011
2 First Quarter Moon at 9:52 UT.
4 Mercury at inferior conjunction with the Sun at 9h UT. Mercury passes into the morning sky.
6 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 1h UT (distance 405,414 km; angular size 29.5').
6 Moon near Jupiter (evening sky) at 19h UT. Mag. -2.8.
9 Moon near the Pleiades (evening sky) at 2h UT.
10 Moon near Aldebaran (evening sky) at 0h UT.
10 Full Moon at 14:37 UT.
Full Moon Names (Wikipedia)
10 Total Eclipse of the Moon begins at 14:05 UT and ends at 14:57 UT. Mid-eclipse at 14:32 UT. Partial phases begin at 12:45 UT and end at 16:18 UT. The Moon will appear red-orange in color during totality (the Earth's shadow). Total eclipse visible from east Asia and Australia through to the Pacific Coast of the U.S. and Canada.
Total Lunar Eclipse of 2011 Dec 10 (NASA)
Lunar Eclipses for Beginners (NASA)
14 Moon near Beehive cluster (morning sky) at 10h UT.
14 Geminid Meteor Shower peaks at 18h UT. Produces bright, medium-speed meteors at its peak (up to 80 meteors/hour). Poor viewing conditions this year due to moonlight.
Observing the Geminids (Gary Kronk)
The Geminids (IMO)
16 Moon near Regulus (morning sky) at 3h UT.
18 Last Quarter Moon at 00:47 UT.
20 Moon near Spica (morning sky) at 0h UT.
20 Moon near Saturn (morning sky) at 6h UT.
22 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 3h UT (364,800 km; 32.8').
22 December solstice at 5:30 UT. The time when the Sun reaches the point farthest south of the celestial equator marking the start of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the Southern Hemisphere.
December Solstice (Wikipedia)
23 Mercury at greatest elongation, 22° west of Sun (morning sky) at 3h UT. Mag -0.4. Thin crescent Moon nearby.
24 New Moon at 18:06 UT. Start of lunation 1101.
Lunation Number (Wikipedia)
27 Moon near Venus (32° from Sun, evening sky) at 6h UT. Mag. -4.0.
All times Universal Time (UT). USA Eastern Standard Time = UT - 5 hours.

Clear skies till next month!

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