Consider a planetarium program to help you plan your observations. There are many commercial products available; an excellent program (STELLARIUM) is available free at http://www.stellarium.org/.
Saturn, Jupiter and Venus are dancing together this week around Sagittarius.
Wednesday (December 4)
As they say in Game of Thrones, winter is coming! One clear sign is that Orion now is above the eastern horizon by about 8 p.m. The brightest star in the sky, Sirius, rises about 9 p.m.
Saturday (December 7)
Today marks the earliest sunset of the year – blame the tilt of the Earth’s axis for this anomaly. The total amount of daylight is balanced out by the early sunrise – the Sun doesn’t rise its latest until January 4th.
Mercury (in Libra)
Look for Mercury low in the east-southeast later this week as dawn breaks (see graphic, below). This week is a good time to look for Mercury – it’s having its best dawn appearance in all of 2019!
Venus and Jupiter (both in Sagittarius)
These two planets appear in the twilight as shown in the above graphic. They move apart from each other as the week progresses.
Mars (in Virgo)
The red planet will be above the east-southeastern horizon a little before sunrise (see above graphic).
Saturn (also in Sagittarius)
Saturn is in the south-southwest just after dusk (see above graphic). Look for a yellowish “star” to the upper left (east) of much brighter Venus. Saturn and Venus draw closer together during the week.
Uranus (in Aries) and Neptune (in Aquarius)
Both planets are high in the south-southeast just after dark.
Finder charts for Uranus and Neptune are available at https://s22380.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/WEB_UrNep_2019-2020_updated.pdf.
SCAS UPCOMING EVENTS
CHRISTA McCAULIFFE PLANETARIUM UPCOMING EVENTS
This feature examines the possible events in space that might have guided the Magi from present-day Iraq to Bethlehem more than two thousand years ago. Due to popular demand in past years, there will be four showings: program times are 7:00 and 8:00 PM on Tuesday, December 10th, and again at 7:00 and 8:00 PM on Wednesday, December 18th. There will be no late seating. Adults are $5, Students with ID $2 and those under five years old are free. Payment may be by cash or check only.
Location: Centennial High School in Pueblo
Pueblo West, Colorado