December will witness meteor showers, a winter solstice, the last full moon of 2020 and a total solar eclipse, depending on where you are in the world.
The Geminids meteor on December 13th
Showers will peak on the night of December 13 and in the early morning of December 14, and the event will be visible for approximately two weeks from December 4 to 16, all over the world, although the best view of the scene will be in the Northern Hemisphere.
Its climax coincides with a new moon, so meteors will appear brighter in the night sky with no light pollution from the moon. You can expect to see up to 50 meteors per hour, with the best viewing time around 2am.
Total solar eclipse on December 14:
The moon will pass directly in front of the sun, creating a total solar eclipse on December 14th. Unfortunately, the scene will only be visible to people in certain areas of the Southern Hemisphere.
There will be a partial eclipse visible in Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Peru and Ecuador, as well as in parts of Antarctica and the southwestern parts of Africa.
– The bear meteor showers in 21 Dec:
The last meteor showers of the year will coincide with the winter solstice, and will peak on December 21.
Anyone can look up at the night sky between December 17 and 26 to follow this event, which is commonly referred to as a shooting star.
Even at their peak, the showers will not exceed between 5 and 10 meteors per hour.
The winter solstice of December 21:
The shortest day of the year holds special significance for some as it is an opportunity to celebrate the return of the long days.
But the day is also of interest to astronomers in the northern hemisphere, who will be able to enjoy the longest night of the year, weather permitting.
The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on December 21
The winter solstice will welcome what is known as the Great Conjunction, when the two largest planets in our solar system come together in the night sky.
December’s event will be the closest great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in 397 years.
The rare event can be seen by looking to the west just after sunset, when the two planets will appear to form a “bright double planet”.
– Full moon on December 30th
This year’s last full moon, also known as a cold moon, will occur on December 30th.
Being very close to the winter solstice, the full moon of December will be surrounded by a dark sky for any full moon this year.