Sky Events 2020 - 2021

December 2020

December 5: The December φ-Cassiopeid meteor shower reaches its peak activity.

December 6: The Puppid-Velid meteor shower reaches its peak activity.

December 7: Third Quarter Moon

December 8: The Monocerotid meteor shower reaches its peak activity.

December 12: Lunar occultation of Venus

December 13: The Geminid meteor shower reachest its peak activity of 120 meteors per hour.

December 14: New Moon

December 14: The open star cluster NGC 1981 is well-placed for observation

December 16: Conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter

December 17: Conjunction of the Moon and Saturn

December 21: Winter Solstice
                          First Quarter Moon
                          Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn

December 22: The Ursid meteor shower reaches its peak activity.

December 23: Conjunction of the Moon and Mars

December 28: The open star cluster NGC 2232 is well-placed for observation.

December 29: New Moon

Planetary Summary: Mercury is hard to see this month. Venus is bright but sinking in the east before sunrise. Jupiter and Saturn are low in the southwest at dusk, 1.5 degrees aoart at the beginning of the month. Mars, high in the south at dusk, is near the Moon on the 23rd. 

January 2021

January 1: M41 is well-placed for observation.

January 3: Quadrantid meteor shower reaches its peak activity of around 120 meteors per hour.

January 6: Third Quarter Moon

January 13: New Moon

January 14: M47 is well-placed for observation.

January 20: First Quarter Moon

January 21: Conjunction of the Moon, Mars, and Uranus

January 23: Mercury at its greatest eastern elongation.

January 28: Full Moon

January 30: The Beehive open star cluster M44 is well-placed for observation.

Planetary Summary: This is a great month to check out Mercury just after sunset, as the planet will reach its greatest eastern elongation on the 23rd. Mars will continue to be visible high in the southern sky in the constellation Aries.

February 2021

February 4: Third Quarter Moon

February 10: Conjunction of the Moon and Saturn

February 11: New Moon

February 18: Conjunction of the Moon and Mars

February 19: First Quarter Moon

                        Bode’s Galaxy (M81) will be well-placed for observation

February 27: Full Moon

Planets in February 

Mercury is visible the first 4 days of the month. After that, it is lost in the glow of the Sun as it moves to inferior conjunction the 8th

Venus is getting more challenging to see.  Look for it on the 11th when it and Jupiter are a half a degree apart. 

Mars is high in the south at sunset.  By the end of the month it will be within 4 degrees of the Pleiades star cluster. Just a note that the Perseverance rover is scheduled to land on it on the 18th.

Jupiter and Saturn re-emerging into morning sky this month low in the southeastern sky.  They improve as the month progresses.