Fri., Dec. 7 6:54 4:11
Sat., Dec. 8 6:55 4:11
Sun., Dec. 9 6:56 4:11
Mon., Dec. 10 6:57 4:11
Tues., Dec. 11 6:58 4:11
Wed., Dec. 12 6:59 4:11
Thurs., Dec. 13 6:59 4:11
Fri., Dec. 14 7:00 4:11
The brightest planet in the evening sky is the red planet Mars. The planet is brilliant, close and a spectacle in the east in our evening sky. Mars is 54 million miles away, awfully close for a planet. Mars is closest to the Earth on Dec. 18, and in opposition Dec. 24.
Residing in the zodiacal constellation Gemini, Mars is perfectly placed late for viewing. At midnight, the planet is overhead, near the zenith.
Saturn and Venus
The ringed-planet Saturn rises around midnight. The bright planet resides in the zodiacal constellation Leo.
The brightest planet in our sky is still Venus, but it rises just before sunrise. Venus is in the zodiacal Libra. Venus rises well before the sun. At 4 a.m. the planet is just popping up above the horizon.
The Geminid meteor shower peaks next Thursday night. It will be a perfect night for looking for shooting stars. Look late in the evening. The Geminids are one of the best shows in the year, with observers sometimes counting as many as 50 meteors in an hour. Don’t get your hopes up that high if you are in a really dark area of the Vineyard. If you see a meteor every couple of minutes you are doing fine. If the weather doesn’t cooperate on the day of the shower.