Sky Report by Ted Gruber
Saturn (magnitude 0.7) and Jupiter (-2.7) become visible in the southeast as the sky darkens. Saturn sets first, a little past 10:30pm, followed by Jupiter just before 2:30am. By mid-December, both planets become visible in the south after sunset, with Saturn setting about 9:00pm and Jupiter about 12:30am. The moon passes about 4° south of Saturn the evening of November 28 and about 2.5° south of Jupiter the night of December 1.
Mars (magnitude -1.6) currently rises in the east-northeast just past 6:00pm and remains visible overnight. By mid-December the red planet will have already risen in the east-northeast as darkness falls.
The full moon occults Mars the evening of December 7. From Longview, Mars disappears behind the moon at 6:49pm and reappears on the opposite side at 7:48pm. Mars reaches opposition the next evening, shining at magnitude -1.9.
Venus (magnitude -3.9) and Mercury (-0.6) return to the evening sky in early December. Both planets will be low in the southwest at twilight, setting about 45 minutes after sunset, but will offer better viewing later in December.
Mars appears in the west until fading into fading into the morning sunlight. By mid-December, Mars sets in the west-northwest about 20 minutes before sunrise.
The Leonids meteor shower is active from November 3 to December 2, peaking the night of November 17-18, typically producing 10-15 meteors per hour at the peak. The moon rises just before 1:00am and about 32% illuminated the morning of November 18, making fainter meteors invisible. Some predictions call for an off-peak outburst ranging from 50 to 250 meteors per hour between 10:00pm and 10:30pm local time on November 18, but these will not be visible from the western US.
The Geminids meteor shower is active from December 4 to 17, peaking the night of December 13-14. This shower can produce rates of 150 meteors per hour during the early morning peak, but also offers strong activity from 10:00pm until midnight on the 13th. The moon will be about 70% illuminated the night of the peak, making fainter meteors invisible.
Last (11/16), new (11/23), first (11/30), full (12/8), last (12/16), new (12/23), first (12/30).
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