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  Sky Calendar -- December 2012
3 Jupiter at opposition at 2h UT. Best time to observe the largest planet in the solar system. Mag. -2.8.
Opposition (Planets) (Wikipedia)
3 Moon near Beehive cluster (M44) (morning sky) at 17h UT.
Beehive Cluster (Wikipedia)
4 Mercury at greatest elongation, 21° west of Sun (morning sky) at 23h UT. Mag -0.4.
5 Moon near Regulus (morning sky) at 12h UT.
6 Last Quarter Moon at 15:32 UT.
9 Mercury 6.3° E of Venus (20° & 26° from Sun, morning sky) at 9h UT. Mags. -0.5 & -4.0.
9 Moon very near Spica (54° from Sun, morning sky) at 12h UT. Occultation visible in southern Pacific, Antarctica, and southern South America.
Occultation of Spica (US Naval Observatory)
10 Moon near Saturn (41° from Sun, morning sky) at 10h UT. Mag. +0.7.
11 Moon near Venus (25° from Sun, morning sky) at 14h UT. Mag. -4.0.
12 Moon very near Mercury (19° from Sun, morning sky) at 0h UT. Occultation visible in Antarctica. Mag. -0.5.
Occultation of Mercury (US Naval Observatory)
12 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 23h UT (357,075 km; 33.5'). Occurs about 9 hours before New Moon so expect high tides.
13 New Moon at 8:41 UT. Start of lunation 1113.
Lunation Number (Wikipedia)
13 Geminid Meteor Shower peaks at 23h UT. Produces bright, medium-speed meteors at its peak (up to 80 meteors/hour). Very favorable viewing conditions this year for this major shower.
Observing the Geminids (Gary Kronk)
The Geminids (IMO)
15 Moon near Mars (27° from Sun, evening sky) at 7h UT.
20 First Quarter Moon at 5:19 UT.
21 December solstice at 11:12 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)
25 Moon near the Pleiades (evening sky) at 5h UT.
Pleiades (star cluster) (Wikipedia)
25 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 21h UT (distance 406,098 km; angular size 29.4').
26 Moon very near Jupiter (evening sky) at 0h UT. Occultation visible in southern Africa and central South America. Mag. -2.8.
Occultation of Jupiter (US Naval Observatory)
26 Moon near Aldebaran (evening sky) at 3h UT.
28 Full Moon at 10:22 UT.
Full Moon Names (Wikipedia)
30 Moon near Beehive cluster (M44) (morning sky) at 23h UT.
All times Universal Time (UT). USA Eastern Standard Time = UT - 5 hours.

Clear skies till next month!

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