Share

Moon, Other Cosmic Wonders Meet in Christmas Sky This Week

Geoff Gaherty
Published: December 25, 2013

Dawn on Friday Dec. 27, 2013. (Starry Night Software)

Early risers will have an opportunity to see the moon move through the sky on Christmas Day and throughout the week.

Over the next few days, the moon will pass a series of bright cosmic markers. If you got up early on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, you were greeted by a celestial present. The bright waning crescent moon was just to the right of the planet Mars.

By tomorrow morning, the moon will have moved so that it’s in between Mars and the bright star Spica. Observers in northern Europe and Asia will actually witness the moon passing in front of Spica in what is called a lunar occultation.

On Friday morning, Dec. 26, skywatchers will see the moon past Spica, with a much narrower crescent as it gets ready to pass in front of the sun.

Saturday morning finds the moon almost at Saturn. Observers in the Kerguelen Islands and Antarctica will see the moon pass in front of Saturn.

Finally, on Sunday morning, the moon will be below Saturn and heading for the horizon and new moon on Jan. 1, 2014.

Editor’s note: If you take an amazing photo of the moon in its conjunctions or any other night sky photo you’d like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact SPACE.com managing editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

This article was provided to SPACE.com by Simulation Curriculum, the leader in space science curriculum solutions and the makers of Starry Night and SkySafari. Follow Starry Night on Twitter @StarryNightEdu. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on SPACE.com.

Copyright 2013 SPACE.com, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

MORE: Today’s Top Videos


Featured Blogs

African Wave 95L and Mexico's Tropical Storm Polo Little Threat

By Dr. Jeff Masters
September 20, 2014

Satellite loops show that a tropical wave (Invest 95L) off the coast of Africa, a few hundred miles southeast of the Cape Verde Islands, has a moderate degree of spin and heavy thunderstorm activity. The wave is under light wind shear and over warm waters of 28°C (82°F), conditions that favor development, but shear will rise to the moderate range, ocean temperatures will cool, and the air surrounding the storm will grow drier by Sunday, making development unlikely.

Incredible Rainstorm in Southern France

By Christopher C. Burt
September 19, 2014

Torrential rainfall Tuesday through Thursday morning (September 16-18) in the Languedoc Region of southern France has resulted in flooding that has killed at least four people with two others still missing. The rainfall rates during the storm were phenomenal.

Live Blog: Tracking Hurricane Arthur as it Approaches North Carolina Coast

By Shaun Tanner
July 3, 2014

This is a live blog set up to provide the latest coverage on Hurricane Arthur as it threatens the North Carolina Coast. Check back often to see what the latest is with Arthur. The most recent updates are at the top.

Tropical Terminology

By Stu Ostro
June 30, 2014

Here is some basic, fundamental terminology related to tropical cyclones. Rather than a comprehensive and/or technical glossary, this represents the essence of the meaning & importance of some key, frequently used terms.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.