December 8 – March in Opposition
The red planet will be located closest to the Earth and its surface will be entirely illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night. This is the best time to observe and photograph Mars. A medium-sized telescope will allow you to see some dark detail on the planet’s orange surface.
December 13-14 – Geminids. meteor shower
Geminids are the kings of meteor showers. It is considered by many to be the most splendid shower in the sky, producing up to 120 meteors per hour in a multitude of colors at its peak. It was created by debris left behind by asteroid 3200 Phaethon, discovered in 1982. The rain occurs every year from December 7 to 17. This year’s peak is on the night of 1:14 p.m. This year, the crescent moon at the end of the month will obscure many weak meteors. But the Geminids are big and bright, so it’s always a great sight. Viewers are best viewed from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Gemini, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
Geminid meteor shower over Heilongjiang province, China, December 2017. Author: Jeff Dai
December 21 – Mercury reaches its eastern maximum ecliptic
Mercury reaches its maximum eastern equinox at 20.1 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to observe Mercury as it will be at the highest point of the horizon in the night sky. Look for the low planet in the western sky just after sunset.
December 22 – Winter Solstice
The winter solstice occurs at 4:40 a.m. (Vietnam time). The South Pole of the Earth will be tilted towards the Sun and the Sun will reach the southernmost position in the sky, located just above the Tropic of Cancer at 23.44 degrees south latitude. It is the first day of winter (winter solstice) in the northern hemisphere and the first day of summer (summer solstice) in the southern hemisphere.
December 21 and 22 – Ursid meteor shower.
The Ursids are a small meteor shower that produces about 5 to 10 stars per hour. It is created by dust particles left behind by Comet Tuttle, first detected in 1790. The rain occurs every year from December 17 to 25. This year’s peak is on the night of the 21st at dawn. give way to a dark sky for a grandiose spectacle. Best viewing would be shortly after midnight from a dark location away from city lights. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Ursa Minor (Little Dipper), but can appear anywhere in the sky.
2020 Urisd meteor shower. Photo: Jaime McLeod
December 23 – New Moon
The Moon will be on the same side of Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 5:17 p.m. (Vietnam time). This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects like galaxies and star clusters that will not be affected by moonlight.
See more astronomical calendar 2022 here: https://deepsky2000.net/quan-sat-thien-van/lich-thien-van-nam-2022/
The HAS translation team.