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Night sky in December – northern hemisphere

 

Highlights: Jupiter bright in morning sky.


Here is a view of the night sky this month as seen from mid-northern latitudes such as London (51° 30′) in mid December, 2014, at 10pm (22h UT).

The planets in December 2014


Mercury makes its best appearance of the year in the morning sky during the first week of the month. You will need a good eastern horizon.

Venus passed behind the Sun last month so will be out of the picture for most of October. You might glimpse it after sunset at the end of November.

Mars is still hanging on in there after sunset, at magnitude 1 in Sagittarius. Find out more about Mars here including new maps to show its position in the sky.

Jupiter is very bright in the constellation of Leo, shining at magnitude -2, and rising before midnight. A small telescope will be enough to reveal its four brightest satellites, the Galilean Moons.

Saturn passes behind the Sun this month, an event called conjunction, and so is not easy to find.



Note: The sky will appear much the same from other cities at similar latitudes, such as New York, Paris and Berlin, at around 10pm local time. The sky appears the same at the start of the month an hour later and at the end of the month an hour earlier. We use Virtual Sky, a new, customizable, browser-based planetarium, courtesy of Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network. Click on the date or location to the top left of the chart to view the sky at a different time or from another longitude and latitude. If you want to check out the sky as seen from the southern hemisphere, click here.