Archive for November 30, 2018

11/30/2018 – Ephemeris – Previewing December skies

November 30, 2018 Comments off

Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Friday, November 30th. The Sun will rise at 7:58. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 5 minutes, setting at 5:04. The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 1:29 tomorrow morning.

Let’s preview December’s skies. Winter will officially arrive on the 21st at 5:22 p.m., the winter solstice. The noontime sun will dip from 23 ½ degrees to a bit less than 22 degrees above the southern horizon on that day. There will be little movement in the sunset times: In the Traverse City/Interlochen area this will be from 5:03 tomorrow, down to 5:02 and then advancing to 5:11 at the end of the month. The sunrise times will advance from 7:58 tomorrow to 8:20 on the 31st. The big event in December will be the Geminid meteor shower whose maximum is on the morning of the 14th. An old comet will make a close pass of the Earth and may be quite bright by mid-month. Watch for Comet Wirtanen.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.


December Evening Star Chart

Star Chart for December 2018 (9 p.m. EST December 15, 2018). Created using my LookingUp program. Click on image to enlarge.

The planets and stars are plotted for the 15th at 9 p.m. EST in the evening and 6 a.m. for the morning chart. These are the chart times. Note that Traverse City is located approximately 45 minutes behind our time meridian. (An hour 45 minutes behind our daylight saving time meridian during EDT). To duplicate the star positions on a planisphere you may have to set it to 1 hour 45 minutes earlier than the current time.

Note the chart times of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. are for the 15th. For each week before the 15th add ½ hour (28 minutes if you’re picky). For each week after the 15th subtract ½ hour. The planet positions are updated each Wednesday on this blog. For planet positions on dates other than the 15th, check the Wednesday planet posts on this blog.

December Morning Star Chart

Star Chart for December mornings 2018 (6 a.m. EST December 15, 2018). Created using my LookingUp program. Click on image to enlarge. The original morning chart uploaded December 1st was outdated.

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
  • Extend like a spike to Spica,
  • The Summer Triangle is in red.
  • GemR on the evening and morning star charts is the radiant of the Geminid meteor shower which peaks on the morning of the 14th,


      Time zone=EDT      
  Morning twilight Evening twilight Dark night Moon
Date Astronomical Nautical Nautical Astronomical Start End Illum.
2018-12-01 6h20m 6h55m 18h16m 18h51m 18h51m 1h29m 0.33
2018-12-02 6h21m 6h56m 18h15m 18h50m 18h50m 2h39m 0.23
2018-12-03 6h22m 6h57m 18h15m 18h50m 18h50m 3h48m 0.14
2018-12-04 6h23m 6h58m 18h15m 18h50m 18h50m 4h56m 0.07
2018-12-05 6h24m 6h59m 18h15m 18h50m 18h50m 6h03m 0.03
2018-12-06 6h25m 7h00m 18h15m 18h50m 18h50m 6h25m 0.00
2018-12-07 6h26m 7h01m 18h15m 18h50m 18h50m 6h26m 0.00
2018-12-08 6h26m 7h02m 18h15m 18h50m 18h50m 6h26m 0.02
2018-12-09 6h27m 7h03m 18h15m 18h50m 19h15m 6h27m 0.06
2018-12-10 6h28m 7h04m 18h15m 18h50m 20h09m 6h28m 0.12
2018-12-11 6h29m 7h04m 18h15m 18h50m 21h06m 6h29m 0.19
2018-12-12 6h30m 7h05m 18h15m 18h51m 22h05m 6h30m 0.27
2018-12-13 6h30m 7h06m 18h15m 18h51m 23h05m 6h30m 0.36
2018-12-14 6h31m 7h07m 18h16m 18h51m 6h31m 0.45
2018-12-15 6h32m 7h07m 18h16m 18h51m 0h06m 6h32m 0.55
2018-12-16 6h32m 7h08m 18h16m 18h52m 1h07m 6h32m 0.65
2018-12-17 6h33m 7h09m 18h16m 18h52m 2h11m 6h33m 0.75
2018-12-18 6h30m 7h05m 18h13m 18h48m 3h16m 6h30m 0.84
2018-12-19 6h30m 7h06m 18h13m 18h49m 4h24m 6h30m 0.91
2018-12-20 6h31m 7h06m 18h14m 18h49m 5h34m 6h31m 0.97
2018-12-21 6h31m 7h07m 18h14m 18h50m 0.97
2018-12-22 6h32m 7h07m 18h15m 18h50m 1.00
2018-12-23 6h32m 7h08m 18h15m 18h51m 1.00
2018-12-24 6h33m 7h08m 18h16m 18h51m 18h51m 19h35m 0.97
2018-12-25 6h33m 7h09m 18h16m 18h52m 18h52m 20h49m 0.91
2018-12-26 6h34m 7h09m 18h17m 18h53m 18h53m 22h05m 0.82
2018-12-27 6h34m 7h09m 18h18m 18h53m 18h53m 23h19m 0.72
2018-12-28 6h34m 7h10m 18h18m 18h54m 18h54m 0.61
2018-12-29 6h34m 7h10m 18h19m 18h55m 18h55m 0h30m 0.49
2018-12-30 6h35m 7h10m 18h20m 18h55m 18h55m 1h40m 0.38
2018-12-31 6h35m 7h10m 18h21m 18h56m 18h56m 2h48m 0.28

Twilight calendar was generated using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

See my blog post: Twilight Zone for the definitions of the different periods of twilight here:

NASA Calendar of Planetary Events

Date Local Event
Dec 1 Sa   Venus: 39.9° W
  3 Mo 01:42:00 PM Moon-Venus: 3.8° S
  7 Fr 02:20:00 AM New Moon
  9 Su 12:30:00 AM Moon-Saturn: 1.2° S
  9 Su 06:12:00 AM Moon South Dec.: 21.5° S
  10 Mo 12:57:00 PM Moon Descending Node
  12 We 07:25:00 AM Moon Apogee: 405200 km
  14 Fr 07:16:00 AM Geminid Shower: ZHR = 120
  14 Fr 06:21:00 PM Moon-Mars: 3.9° N
  15 Sa 05:59:00 AM Mercury Elongation: 21.3° W
  15 Sa 06:49:00 AM First Quarter
  21 Fr 02:31:00 AM Moon-Aldebaran: 1.7° S
  21 Fr 02:49:00 PM Mercury-Jupiter: 0.8° N
  21 Fr 05:22:00 PM Winter Solstice
  22 Sa 03:03:00 AM Mercury-Antares: 6° N
  22 Sa 10:08:00 AM Jupiter-Antares: 5.2° N
  22 Sa 12:49:00 PM Full Moon
  22 Sa 04:00:00 PM Ursid Shower: ZHR = 10
  23 Su 06:48:00 AM Moon North Dec.: 21.6° N
  24 Mo 04:52:00 AM Moon Perigee: 361100 km
  24 Mo 06:54:00 AM Moon Ascending Node
  24 Mo 11:52:00 PM Moon-Beehive: 0.6° N
  26 We 11:06:00 AM Moon-Regulus: 2.5° S
  29 Sa 04:34:00 AM Last Quarter

All event times are given for UTC-5:00: Eastern Standard or Daylight Time

Sky Events Calendar by Fred Espenak and Sumit Dutta (NASA’s GSFC),

If you go to the above site you can print out a list like the above for the entire year or calendar pages for your time zone.

Sun and Moon Rising and Setting Events

Ephemeris of Sky Events for NMC Observatory
December, 2018 – Local time zone: EST
Date Sun   Twilight* Moon Illum
    Rise Set Hours End Start Phase R/S** Time Fractn
Sat 1 07:59a 05:03p 09:04 06:12p 06:49a   Rise 02:38a 29.00%
Sun 2 08:00a 05:03p 09:03 06:12p 06:50a   Rise 03:47a 19.00%
Mon 3 08:01a 05:03p 09:01 06:12p 06:51a   Rise 04:55a 12.00%
Tue 4 08:02a 05:02p 09:00 06:12p 06:52a   Rise 06:02a 6.00%
Wed 5 08:03a 05:02p 08:59 06:12p 06:53a   Rise 07:07a 2.00%
Thu 6 08:04a 05:02p 08:57 06:12p 06:54a   Rise 08:10a 0.00%
Fri 7 08:05a 05:02p 08:56 06:12p 06:55a New Set 05:40p 1.00%
Sat 8 08:06a 05:02p 08:55 06:12p 06:56a   Set 06:25p 3.00%
Sun 9 08:07a 05:02p 08:54 06:12p 06:57a   Set 07:15p 7.00%
Mon 10 08:08a 05:02p 08:53 06:12p 06:58a   Set 08:09p 12.00%
Tue 11 08:09a 05:02p 08:52 06:12p 06:59a   Set 09:06p 19.00%
Wed 12 08:10a 05:02p 08:52 06:12p 06:59a   Set 10:05p 27.00%
Thu 13 08:10a 05:02p 08:51 06:12p 07:00a   Set 11:05p 36.00%
Fri 14 08:11a 05:02p 08:50 06:13p 07:01a   Set 12:05a 45.00%
Sat 15 08:12a 05:02p 08:50 06:13p 07:02a F Qtr Set 01:07a 55.00%
Sun 16 08:13a 05:03p 08:49 06:13p 07:02a   Set 02:10a 65.00%
Mon 17 08:13a 05:03p 08:49 06:13p 07:03a   Set 03:15a 74.00%
Tue 18 08:14a 05:03p 08:49 06:14p 07:03a   Set 04:23a 83.00%
Wed 19 08:15a 05:04p 08:49 06:14p 07:04a   Set 05:33a 90.00%
Thu 20 08:15a 05:04p 08:48 06:15p 07:05a   Set 06:45a 96.00%
Fri 21 08:16a 05:05p 08:48 06:15p 07:05a   Set 07:56a 99.00%
Sat 22 08:16a 05:05p 08:48 06:16p 07:06a Full Rise 05:22p 100.00%
Sun 23 08:17a 05:06p 08:49 06:16p 07:06a   Rise 06:25p 98.00%
Mon 24 08:17a 05:06p 08:49 06:17p 07:07a   Rise 07:35p 93.00%
Tue 25 08:17a 05:07p 08:49 06:17p 07:07a   Rise 08:49p 85.00%
Wed 26 08:18a 05:08p 08:49 06:18p 07:07a   Rise 10:05p 76.00%
Thu 27 08:18a 05:08p 08:50 06:19p 07:08a   Rise 11:18p 66.00%
Fri 28 08:18a 05:09p 08:50 06:19p 07:08a   Rise 12:30a 54.00%
Sat 29 08:19a 05:10p 08:51 06:20p 07:08a L Qtr Rise 01:39a 43.00%
Sun 30 08:19a 05:11p 08:51 06:21p 07:08a   Rise 02:47a 33.00%
Mon 31 08:19a 05:12p 08:52 06:22p 07:09a   Rise 03:53a 24.00%

* Nautical Twilight
** Moonrise or moonset, whichever occurs between sunset and sunrise