Today’s Video of the Day from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory features skywatching highlights for December 2022.
“The month begins and ends with the Moon visiting the giant planets. On December 1st, find the Moon just a couple of finger-widths apart from Jupiter in the evening sky. Then, from the 25th to the 31st, look to the southwest following sunset to see an increasingly full Moon slip past Saturn and then again past Jupiter,” says NASA.
“Viewers with a clear view to the horizon will be able to search for Venus and Mercury in the fading glow of sunset, just a few degrees above the skyline.”
A very special event called a lunar occultation will take place on December 7, when the Moon passes in front of Mars.
“The spectacle will be visible in parts of North America, Europe, and Northern Africa. (Viewers in the Southeast and on the East Coast will see the Moon just graze past Mars.) For viewers in the U.S., Mars disappears behind the Moon sometime between about 6:30 and 9 p.m., depending on your location, so check your favorite skywatching app to find the time for your area.”
On evenings throughout the month of December, the constellation Pegasus will be visible high in the southwest sky.
“Pegasus is one of the largest of the 88 constellations. Its most prominent feature, and the key to finding it in the sky, is this asterism, or pattern of stars, called the Great Square. These four stars of roughly equal brightness form the central part of the horse’s body.”
Video Credit: NASA JPL