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The constellations Aries, Taurus, Orion, Gemini, Cancer, Leo prominently fill the southern sky in Winter. In November, Aries will be in the southeast sky at dusk. The constellations advance westward and the houses of the Zodiac advance by one each month. Taurus will be in the southeast sky in December, Gemini in January, cancer in February, and Leo in March. Mighty Orion will be accompanying them. Grab your binoculars and get outside to watch the celestial show. Winter’s long nights are the best time to stargaze.
Watch for these celestial happenings!
December 11 - Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation. Look for the planet low in the western sky just after sunset.
December 13, 14 - Geminids Meteor Shower. The Geminids is the king of the meteor showers. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Gemini, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
December 14 - Full Moon, Supermoon.
December 21 - December Solstice. The December solstice occurs at 10:44 UTC. This is the first day of winter.
December 21, 22 - Ursids Meteor Shower. The Ursids is a minor meteor shower producing about 5-10 meteors per hour. Best viewing will be just after midnight from a dark location far away from city lights. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Ursa Minor, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
December 29 - New Moon.
January 3, 4 - Quadrantids Meteor Shower. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Bootes, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
January 12 - Full Moon.This phase occurs at 11:34 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Wolf Moon because this was the time of year when hungry wolf packs howled outside their camps. This moon has also been know as the Old Moon and the Moon After Yule.
January 12 - Venus at Greatest Eastern Elongation. Look for the bright planet in the western sky after sunset.
January 19 - Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.
January 28 - New Moon.
February 11 - Full Moon. Since hunting is difficult, this moon has also been known by some tribes as the Full Hunger Moon, since the harsh weather made hunting difficult.
February 26 - New Moon
March 12 - Full Moon.This phase occurs at 14:54 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Worm Moon because this was the time of year when the ground would begin to soften and the earthworms would reappear. This moon has also been known as the Full Crow Moon, the Full Crust Moon, the Full Sap Moon, and the Lenten Moon.
March 20 - March Equinox. The March equinox occurs at 10:29 UTC. The Sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world.