Sky Events 2021-2022

December 2021

December 6: December φ-Cassiopeid meteor shower reaches peak activity

December 6: Conjunction of the Moon and Venus, with an angular separation of 1°52′ 

December 7: Conjunction of the Moon and Saturn, with an angular separation of  4°11′ 

December 9: Conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter, with an angular separation of 4°28′ 

December 10: First Quarter Moon

December 14: The Geminid meteor shower reaches its peak activity.

December 15: The open star cluster NGC 1981 in Orion’s sword will be well-placed for observation, high in the sky.

December 18: Full Moon

December 21: Winter Solstice

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

December 26: Third Quarter Moon

December 28: The open star cluster NGC 2232 in Monoceros will be well-placed for observation.

December 29: The open star cluster NGC 2244 in the rosette nebula in Monoceros will be well-placed for observation.

 

Planets in December

Mercury is poorly positioned at the start of December. Look for it at the end of the month when it will be near Venus.

Venus is low in the sky at sunrise but makes a nice pairing with the waxing crescent Moon on the 6th and 7th.

Mars low in the morning sky, near a thin crescent Moon nearby on the 3rd.

Jupiter and Saturn set a bit after 8pm.  Look for them in the southwestern sky after sunset.  A waxing Moon is near Saturn on the 8th and Jupiter on the 9th.

January 2022

January 2: The open star cluster M41 in Canis Major is well-placed for observation.

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

January 5: Conjuntion of the Moon and Jupiter, with the Moon passing 4°27′ to the south of the planet

January 7: Mercury at its greatest eastern elongation

January 9: First Quarter Moon

January 15: Open star cluster M47 in Puppis is well-placed for observation

January 17: Full Moon

January 18: Comet 104P/Kowal is forecast to reach its brightest.

January 20: Comet 19P/Borrelly is forecast to reach its brightest.

January 25: Third Quarter Moon

January 29: Conjunction of the Moon and Mars, with the Moon passing 2°24′ to the south of the planet

January 31: Open star cluster M44 in Puppis is well-placed for observation

Planets in January

Mercury recently passed in front of the Sun at inferior solar conjunction. It is not readily observable since it is very close to the Sun, at a separation of only 11° from it.

Venus recently passed in front of the Sun at inferior solar conjunction. It is visible in the dawn sky, rising at 04:56 (EST) – 2 hours and 4 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 15° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:40.

Mars recently passed behind the Sun at solar conjunction.

Jupiter will soon pass behind the Sun at solar conjunction. It will become visible around 17:04 (EST), 19° above your south-western horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. It will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 19 minutes after the Sun at 19:07.

Saturn will soon pass behind the Sun at solar conjunction..