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PLEASE VISIT THE STARS OVER WOLLUMBIN PAGE
The Sky-scapes, produced with Stellarium, are in chronological order, the most recent on top
The times given are for the Northern Rivers region of Eastern Australia, New South Wales
JANUARY 2: the Waxing First Quarter Moon (in the Tropical Sign of Aries) will be aligned to Jupiter tonight. The backdrop of this encounter will be the boundary between the constellations of Pisces and Aries.
The skyscape below was taken at around 8.40 pm, looking North West. Note the position of invisible Uranus West of the Moon and above the square of Pegasus, the winged horse; and, to the East, the Pleiades cluster of Taurus, above Perseus, Medusa’ slayer; the head of the monster embodied in Algol, Perseus’ beta star (second brightest to Mirphak, below it).
DECEMBER 28: the last observable Moon’s event of 2011: the Crescent Moon can be observed aligned to bright Venus after sunset.
The skyscape below was taken at around 8.40 pm, looking West. Observe the invisible position of Vesta above the Moon and Venus.
The Moon will be seen moving westward, day after day, still in the same region of the sky as Venus until December 31.
Today we can also admire the so called Earth Shine or the Old Moon in the New Moon’s arms.
DECEMBER 21 to 23: the Balsamic Waning Moon can be seen passing first by Saturn, on the 21st, 22nd, and then by Mercury on the 23rd. The latter observation would be possible only if you have an uncluttered eastern horizon. On the 23rd the Moon will also be very tiny, being close to her New Moon Phase (on Christmas Day).
Here are two snapshots of these events on December 21 and 23 respectively.
The first skyscape, below, was taken on December 21, around quarter to five in the morning, looking East.
The second skyscape, below, was taken on December 23, around 5 am, looking South East.
DECEMBER 18: the Last Quarter Moon can be seen aligned to Mars early this morning.
The skyscape below was taken around 2.40 am looking North-East. The Moon and Mars are transiting over the backdrop of the Leo constellation. Notice, low on the horizon, Saturn rising below Spica, alpha star of Virgo. The Moon will align to Saturn on December 20 and 21.
DECEMBER 6 and 7: the Gibbous Moon can be observed, over these two nights, gliding by bright Jupiter, from sunset to the early hours of next day.
The skyscape below was taken on December 6, around 11 pm, looking North-West. Note the position of the Moon and Jupiter against the backdrop of the Aries constellation, the Ram; and the square of Pegasus, the Winged Horse, below them, toward the West, while the Pleiades or Seven Sisters lay to the East.
Also invisible Uranus’s position can be plotted close to the constellations of Cetus, the Whale, and Pisces, the Two Fishes, West of the Moon and Jupiter.