the great protagonist of the December sky, festively illuminated by the winter constellations and by a shower of shooting stars.
Even the Moon will put on a show playing hide and seek with the planets, while the nights will get longer and longer until the
on December 21st.
The Unione Astrofili Italiani (Uai) lists the unmissable appointments of the month.
We start with the Red Planet, which "will reach
opposition to the Sun on December 8
and at dawn on the same day it will be hidden by the full Moon", explain the amateur astronomers.
"Mars will remain visible throughout the night: it will rise at sunset, culminate in the south in the central hours of the night and we will be able to follow it until dawn.
, the largest apparent dimensions when observed with a telescope, and the minimum distance from the Earth, about 81.5 million km".
In December, the other planets will also be admired. In the evening, it will still be possible to observe
for a short time (always lower on the southwest horizon, in the constellation Sagittarius) and longer
(in a southwesterly direction, in the constellation Pisces).The
sky, illuminated by
the winter constellations
(Orion, Canis Major, Taurus, Gemini, Auriga), will be festively decorated between 10 and 15 December with the rain of the Geminids, comparable in quantity and brightness of the shooting stars to that of the Perseids in August.
The peak will occur in the night between 13 and 14 December.
"The circumstances with which we will be able to observe them radiating from an area just northwest of Castor will be favorable this year only in the first part of the night, when there will be no disturbance from the Moon", underlines the Uai.
he will chase planets and play hide and seek all month long.
On the evenings of December 1 and 2, it will approach and then pass Jupiter, which it will meet again on December 29.
On the evening of December 5th it will occult Uranus, while on the 6th it will enter the constellation of Taurus, approaching the star cluster of the Pleiades.
On the evening of December 7, in the constellation Taurus, we will see the Moon approaching Mars, a prelude to the occultation that we will be able to observe before dawn the following day.
"On the evening of Christmas Eve, at dusk, we will be able to try to see the very thin crescent moon setting accompanied by Mercury and Venus, in the constellation of Sagittarius - continues the Uai - while on the evening of 26 December the crescent moon will reach Saturn in the constellation Capricornus".