Here are the Moon phases in the Northern hemisphere for December 2010 and other interesting things of note in the sky.
5th December: New Moon
13th December: First Quarter
21st December: Full Moon
28th December: Last Quarter
The 1st to 8th December 2010 is Dark Matter Awareness Week. ‘Dark matter’ is thought to make up around 95% of the Universe (ordinary, regular matter like the stuff that makes up you and I only constitutes about 5%). But, its existence is only inferred by gravitational effects on the visible, ordinary matter that we’re familiar with and we lack any real understanding of these exotic, yet seemingly abundant cosmic building blocks. Dark Matter Awareness Week is a worldwide initiative bringing together scientists to raise awareness of this poorly understood matter.
December 14th is the time of the year to look out for the Geminid meteor shower. It’ll be best to look towards the constellation of Gemini (‘the twins’) in the early morning of the 14th and if it’s not cloudy you might be able to see 40 to 60 shooting stars per hour. Look for the bright stars in Gemini – Castor and Pollux above and to the east of Orion’s right shoulder (Betelgeuse).
As we continue through the dark winter nights, there’s never been a better time to check out my post on the Top 5 Winter Night Sky Objects!
One of the most distinct and interesting areas of the sky to discover at this time of year is the constellation of Orion.
A picture of the Moon close to Jupiter in the early evening sky on 12th December 2010 from Callander, UK. Brilliant, crisp and cold evening as the Sun sets 🙂