View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Jeremy Likness in Monroe, Washington, captured this telescopic view of the California Nebula ( NGC 1499) in Taurus on December 3, 2022. He wrote: “West of the Pleiades is a red streak that spans 2.5 degrees of sky. NGC 1499 is the designation for an emission nebula that emits mostly in a set of narrow hydrogen bands. Named for its distinct shape, this is the California Nebula.” Thank you, Jeremy! See more of December’s deep sky below. Photos of the December deep sky
Enjoy these December
deep-sky photos. See diffuse nebulae, as well as a star cluster and a supernova remnant. These images are all from members of the EarthSky community. Do you have a great photo to share? Submit it here.
Available now! 2023 EarthSky lunar calendar. A unique and beautiful poster-sized calendar showing phases of the moon every night of the year. Makes a great gift! Diffuse nebulae in the deep sky
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Ahmad Al iqabi in Alkut, Wasit, Iraq, captured this telescopic view of the Heart Nebula ( IC 1805) in Cassiopeia on December 16, 2022. Thank you, Ahmad!
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Ahmad Al iqabi in Alkut, Wasit, Iraq, also shared this telescopic view of the Horsehead Nebula and Flame Nebula in Orion on December 16, 2022. Thank you, Ahmad!
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Kurtis Markham in Alexandria, Virginia, captured the Flaming Star Nebula ( IC 405) in Auriga on December 19, 2022. His work was made under light-polluted skies, rated at class 8 or 9 in the Bortle dark-sky scale. He wrote: “The flaming star’s origin is supposedly from the nearby star nursery of the Orion Nebula.” Thank you, Kurtis!
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Jelieta Walinski in Hickiwan, Arizona, completed this telescopic view of the reflection nebula Messier 78 in Orion on December 21, 2022. This impressive image is the result of 48 hours of integration. She wrote: “This is M78, aka NGC 2068. It is a reflection nebula in the constellation of Orion.” Thank you, Jelieta!
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Karl Diefenderfer in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, captured this telescopic view of NGC 2264 in Monoceros. NGC 2264 is a deep-sky object comprising 2 astronomical bodies (the Cone Nebula and the Christmas Tree Cluster) on December 24, 2022. He wrote: “Merry Christmas from 2,300 light-years away in the constellation Monoceros.” Thank you, Karl! A star cluster
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Karrar Mohammed in Alkut, Iraq, captured this telescopic view of the Pleiades star cluster on December 17, 2022. He wrote: “The Pleiades, also known as the 7 Sisters, Messier 45 and other names by different cultures, is an asterism. It is an open star cluster containing middle-aged, hot B-type stars in the northwest of the constellation Taurus. At a distance of about 444 light-years, it is among the nearest star clusters to Earth. It is the nearest Messier object to Earth. And it’s the most obvious cluster to the unaided eye in the night sky.” Thank you, Karrar! A supernova remnant
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Jeremy Likness in Monroe, Washington, captured the Crab Nebula ( Messier 1) in Taurus on December 15, 2022. He wrote: “In the late 1600s, comet hunter Charles Messier mistakenly observed a smudge he thought was a comet but realized it wasn’t moving. Annoyed, he started a catalog of things to avoid, and entry M1 was the Crab Nebula. This time of year, it remains high in the sky all night in the Pacific Northwest, so I took advantage of 2 clear nights to capture just over 5 hours of data. You are looking at the remnants of a stellar explosion or supernova that happened less than 10,000 years ago. The light took 6,500 years to reach my telescope.” Thank you, Jeremy!
Bottom line: Members of the EarthSky community shared these amazing photos of December’s deep sky.
About the Author:
Armando is well known as an astronomy educator, after 30+ years leading extensive initiatives of public outreach and 10+ years teaching in colleges. As one of only a handful of Puerto Rican science communicators during Comet Halley's last visit, he assumed a pioneering role starting in 1985 when science was just beginning to enter the local mindset; over time his work brought meaningful change to the culture, inspiring people to pursue interests in science and technology. His affiliations include Ana G. Méndez University–Cupey, where in 2014 he spearheaded an 8-course extension program focusing on observational astronomy, the first ever in the island.