12/01/2016 – Ephemeris – Looking ahead at the last month of 2016
Ephemeris for Thursday, December 1st. The Sun will rise at 8:00. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 3 minutes, setting at 5:03. The Moon, 2 days past new, will set at 7:10 this evening.
Let’s look at this month of December. The hours of daylight will change little except to be darker in the morning and lighter in the evenings. In the Traverse City/Interlochen area sunset will change from 5:03 today, down to 5:02 and then advancing to 5:12 at the end of the month. The earliest sunset will be around the 10th. There is more movement in the sunrise times which will advance from 8 o’clock this morning to 8:20 on the 31st.Dec. Winter will officially arrive at the winter solstice on the 21st at 5:45 a.m. The noontime sun will dip from about 23 ½ degrees today to a bit less than 22 degrees above the southern horizon on that day. Daylight hours will drop from 9 hours 3 minutes tomorrow to 8 hours and 48 minutes on the solstice.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
December Star Charts
Since the night time hours are lengthening I’ve decided to add a morning star chart .
The planets and stars are plotted for the 15th at 9 p.m. EST, and again at 6 a.m. Those are chart times. Note, Traverse City is located approximately 45 minutes behind our time meridian. (An hour 45 minutes behind our daylight saving time meridian. during EDT and 45 minutes behind our daylight standard time meridian. during EST). We start the month on daylight time (UT – 4 hours) then fall back to standard time (UT – 5 hours) on the 6th at 2 a.m. To duplicate the star positions on a planisphere you may have to set it to 1:45 or 0:45 earlier than the current time if you were near your time meridian.
Evening nautical twilight ends at 6:12 p.m. EDT on the 1st, decreasing to 6:22 p.m. EST on the 30th.
Morning nautical twilight starts at 6:51 a.m. EDT on the 1st, and drops an hour on the 6th, and then increases again to 7:09 a.m. EST on the 30th.
Add a half hour to the chart time every week before the 15th and subtract a half hour for every week after the 15th.
For a list of constellation names to go with the abbreviations click here.
- Pointer stars at the front of the bowl of the Big Dipper point to Polaris the North Star
- Follow the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper to the star Arcturus, and
- Straighten to a spike to Spica
- The Summer Triangle is outlined in red. Vega in Lyra (Lyr), Deneb in Cygnus (Cyg) and Altair in Aquila (Aql).
- GemR is the Geminid meteor shower radiant.
Calendar of Planetary Events
Credit: Sky Events Calendar by Fred Espenak and Sumit Dutta (NASA’s GSFC)
To generate your own calendar go to http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SKYCAL/SKYCAL.html
Times are Eastern Time.
Date Time Event Dec 01 Th Venus: 43.2° E 01 Th 2:56 pm Moon South Dec.: 18.9° S 03 Sa 7:34 am Moon-Venus: 6.3° S 05 Mo 5:39 am Moon-Mars: 3.1° S 06 Tu 12:35 pm Moon Descending Node 07 We 4:03 am First Quarter 10 Sa 6:03 am Saturn Conjunction with the Sun 10 Sa 10:59 pm Mercury Greatest Elongation: 20.8° East 12 Mo 6:27 pm Moon Perigee: 358500 km 12 Mo 11:14 pm Moon-Aldebaran: 0.4° S 13 Tu 6:57 pm Geminid Meteor Shower: ZHR = 120 13 Tu 7:05 pm Full Moon (Super Moon) 14 We 4:43 pm Moon North Dec.: 18.9° N 18 Su 1:14 pm Moon-Regulus: 1.1° N 18 Su 11:46 pm Moon Ascending Node 20 Tu 8:56 pm Last Quarter 21 We 5:45 am Winter Solstice 22 Th 3:00 am Ursid Meteor Shower: ZHR = 10 22 Th 11:37 am Moon-Jupiter: 2.7° S 25 Su 12:55 am Moon Apogee: 405900 km 28 We 1:41 pm Mercury Inferior Conjunction 28 We 10:30 pm Moon South Dec.: 19° S 29 Th 1:53 am New Moon Jan 01 Su Venus: 46.8° E