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Bruce McClure

Find the Geminid meteors’ radiant point

December’s Geminid meteor shower radiates from the constellation Gemini the Twins. To see it, look east in mid-evening or overhead by about 2 a.m.

See a celestial Chariot in December

The constellation Auriga the Charioteer also has several easy-to-find and very famous star clusters that you can spot with binoculars.

Orion the Hunter and the Milky Way

The constellation Orion is very noticeable. Given a dark sky, you can see the luminous band of the Milky Way running behind it.

Moon and Regulus on December 8

Moon and star Regulus rise in the east at late evening and appear near each other for the rest of the night. Regulus is considered the Lion’s Heart.

Don’t miss the Geminids in 2017

Meteor showers are part of nature and so inherently unpredictable. But the 2017 Geminids might be an awesome shower! Peak mornings December 13 and 14. Moon near morning planets. Parent body – 3200 Phaethon – nearby.

Star of the week: Menkar

It’s not the most famous star in Cetus the Whale, or the brightest, although it carries the designation Alpha. But Menkar has its own claims to fame.

N. Hemisphere? Watch for earliest sunsets

2017 solstice will arrive on December 21, but the earliest sunsets at mid-northern latitudes are happening now. S. Hemisphere? Then watch for your earliest sunrises.

When is the next supermoon?

2017 had just 1 full supermoon, but 2018 will have 2. In fact, the next 2 full moons – both in January, 2018 – will be supermoons.

Moon and Gemini on December 4 and 5

Let tonight’s moon help you locate the constellation Gemini. One of Gemini’s brightest stars – Castor – is near the radiant point of the upcoming Geminid meteor shower.

Full supermoon on December 3

The December 3, 2017 full moon is 2017’s only supermoon. The two full moons in January 2018 – on January 2 and 31 – will also count as supermoons.