The Geminid meteor shower is at its best tonight. At its peak, it should produce a hundred or so meteors per hour. The bright Moon will wipe out most of its fireworks, although a few should be bright enough to shine through the glow.
Weekly Stargazing Tips
Unless otherwise specified, viewing times are local time regardless of time zone, and are good for the entire Lower 48 states (and, generally, for Alaska and Hawaii). Check out last week's tips if you missed a night.
Geminid Meteors II
Hercules is low in the west at nightfall. A bright nova, which is an outburst from a white dwarf star, flared to life in the constellation in 1934. The nova may have helped inspire the origin story of Superman, who debuted four years later.
Moon and Aldebaran
The Moon puts on a good show tonight with the star Aldebaran. They are low in the east at nightfall, with Aldebaran, the orange “eye” of Taurus, close to the lower right of the Moon. They stay close as they arc across the south during the night.
The Moon is full at 3:29 a.m. CST tomorrow. It is known as the Long Night Moon since, because the days are shortest at this time of year, the nights are longest, so the Moon is in view longer than any other full Moon of the year.
Moon and Companions
The brilliant planet Jupiter poses to the lower left of the full Moon this evening. The star Betelgeuse, which marks the shoulder of Orion, the hunter, is about the same distance to the right of the Moon.
Moon and Jupiter
Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, looks like a brilliant star to the left or upper left of the Moon as they climb into good view this evening.
The constellation Gemini is in view in the east this evening, above the Moon and near the brilliant planet Jupiter. Its brightest star, Pollux, is to the lower left of Jupiter, with the next-brightest star, Castor, above Pollux.