Astronomical events for the month of December 2017

John Christopher Amodo
PUBLISHED December 4, 2017 02:26 pm
Photo by Kenneth Brandon/Dark Sky Chaser

(Inside Manila) The state weather bureau has recently released the anticipated sky events including planet whereabouts, eclipse, and moon phases for the month of December. Watch the sky at these dates.


December 3: Full Moon


The full moon of December will fall on this day at 11:47 p.m. (PST).


December 4: Moon at Perigee


On this day at 4:46 p.m. (PST), the Moon will reach its nearest distance along its orbit to the Earth at 357,599.809 km, which will make it appear slightly larger compared to typical nights. This will be the last supermoon of the year 2017.


December 10: Moon at Last Quarter


The last quarter of the moon of December will fall on this day at 3:51 p.m. (PST).


December 13: Geminid Meteor Shower Peak


The Geminid meteor shower, named after its radiant point in the constellation Gemini, the Twins, is happening from 7th to 16th, with peak dates at December 13 evening to early morning the next day. During the event, around 120 meteors per hour may be observed.


Compared to last year, 2017 will see a bright Geminid Meteor Shower, thanks to the early, non-concurring December Supermoon—whose co-existence washed the sky event last year.


Get your coats ready and find your viewing spots because it’s going to be a bright, dazzling display of mid-December light show.


December 14: Moon-Jupiter Conjunction


The largest planet in the Solar System and the Moon will share the same right ascension, with the Moon passing 4°14' to the north of Jupiter. The two will both lie among the background stars of the constellation Libra, the Scales.


December 18: New Moon


The new moon of December will fall on this day at 2:30 p.m. (PST).


December 19: Moon at Apogee


On this day, the Moon will reach its farthest distance along its orbit to the Earth at 406,566.342 km. It will appear slightly smaller at 9:26 a.m. (PST) compared to typical nights.


December 22: Winter Solstice and Ursid Meteor Shower


The nights in the country are at their longest and daytimes are at their shortest during the Winter Solstice, or also known as the December Solstice, which will occur on December 22 at 12:28 AM (PST).


Solstice, because the Sun will lie at its farthest point south of the equator, signaling the onset of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the Southern Hemisphere, and also the completion of Earth’s annual circuit around the Sun.


With the Geminids getting all the attention from stargazers, the Ursid Meteor Shower is too often neglected. And a bit rightfully so, because not only are the first light show’s prolific amount of long-tailed cosmic balls endearing, the Ursids almost always coincide with the Winter Solstice.


Happening from the 17th to 25th, with its peak on the predawn hours of 22nd, one is lucky enough to catch a single, moderately bright meteor per hour.


December 26: First Quarter


The first quarter of the moon of December will fall on this day at 5:20 p.m. (PST).

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