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Daily Lunar Phases This Month

Daily lunar phases for the month
Diagram created with LunarPhase Pro

Times For Emerging Crescent Moons
Below are times for viewing Crescent Moons in UT for Dublin, Ireland. Crescent data is specific for your location but adding your timezone offset from GMT to the Sunset and Moonset times will give you an idea of when the Moon is visible locally. The amount of time you have to see a crescent and what percentage of the Moon is illuminated will be somewhat different for where you live. LunarPhase Pro will calculate all this information specifically for your location. The data in the screenshot below was generated by the software.

Events for December 2018

In case you're not aware, Jack Horkheimer, who used to produce these Star Gazer videos, died on August 20, 2010 and staff at the Miami Planetarium have been producing them in his place since then.

NASA What's Up In December 2018

HubbleSite - Tonight's Sky For December 2018

December Podcasts:

The Jodcast - from Jodrell Bank in the UK (right-click and select "Save As" to download the podcast for your mobile device). For more information about what's happening this month, visit the Jodcast December page.

What Messier Objects Are Visible Tonight (December):

A list of messier objects visible this month. All are possible with binoculars, most are easy even with small binoculars.

This will be a fairly easy month on the tour. We will view two small,
but bright globular clusters, two open star clusters, and the grandest
galaxy in the sky along with it's two companions. All of these objects
are possible to find in binoculars, most are fairly easy.


This is a small, bright globular cluster in Aquarius. To find it
in binoculars look for a fuzzy star in a star poor field. A low power
telescope field will show a round fuzzy patch, brighter in the center and
fading to the edge, in a field with no other bright objects.


This globular cluster in Pegasus is very similar to M2 in size and
brightness, except it is surrounded by several bright stars. Fairly easy
to find in binoculars but the best view is through a telescope at medium
to high power.


This galactic cluster is a small, sparse group of stars in Cygnus.
It appears as a small fuzzy patch amongst a rich star field in binoculars.
A telescope will easily resolve the members of this cluster. The shape
of the cluster reminds me of the Pleiades as viewed through binoculars.


Dark skies will allow this large, bright cluster in Cygnus to be
seen with the naked eye as a hazy patch of light. Binoculars easily
resolve this cluster into it's bright and widely scattered members, and
provide a better view than can be seen with most telescopes.


This is the famous Andomeda Galaxy, our closest galactic neighbor,
and the largest, brightest galaxy to be seen in the nothern sky. The
ability to see M31 with the naked eye provides a good test of the
darkness of your skies. M31 is so large that binoculars provide the best
view, allowing the entire galaxy to be seen in one field of view. Look
for an elongated patch of light, with a bright, round central core.


This is an eliptical companion galaxy to M31. Through a telescope
look for a slightly oval ball of fuzz in the same low power field as the
core of M31. M32 is very possible to find in binoculars as a star like
point of light.


Another eliptical companion galaxy to M31, lying on the opposite
side of the core as M32. Through a telescope look for a large, oval
patch of light. Although M110 is as bright as M32 it is much larger
and thus has a lower surface brightness making it a difficult object
in light polluted skies. M110 is a very difficult binocular object
requiring dark transparent skies, and trained eyes to have a chance
at finding it.

Last Month
- M27, M30, M56, M57, M71, M72, M73
Next Month
- M33, M34, M52, M74, M76, M77, M103

Revision 11/95, A.J. Cecce

Twelve Month Tour Index -
December tour in Ascii

Hartmut Frommert

Christine Kronberg



Last Modification: 6 Apr 1998

Via The Messier Catalog

Other Events To Watch Out For This Month

Jupiter in December 2018

To the right are the satellite tracks for Jupiter's four main satellites for this month.

Io: White
Europa: Yellow
Ganymede: Orange
Callisto: Light Blue

Diagram created by Jupsat Pro

Daily / Weekly Notes

Today's Sky Event from Earth& Sky
A different astronomical event is described each day

This Week's "Sky at a Glance"
From Sky & Telescope

AMS Meteor Activity Outlook
A weekly preview of meteor activity

Lets Talk Stars
Weekly radio program hosted by David Levy

Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer
Listing of current and past shows.

Monthly Notes

Sky at Night
Catch up on the latest edition of the BBC Programme

Stardate Daily Programme Calendar
Monthly listing of aired programs from StarDate

The Night Sky
Monthly observing notes from Jodrell Bank

Satellite Predictions and Visibility

NASA Skywatch
NASA SkyWatch is a web-based Java application that provides sky watchers worldwide with a picture of when and where the International Space Station, the space shuttle and other spacecraft can be seen with the unaided eye as they pass overhead.

Heavens Above
Provides all the information you need to observe satellites such as the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle, spectacular events such as the dazzlingly bright flares from Iridium satellites as well as a wealth of other spaceflight and astronomical information.

Online Skymaps and Charts

Your Sky
An interactive planetarium run by Fourmilab. You can produce maps for any time and date, viewpoint, and observing location. If you enter the orbital elements of an asteroid or comet, Your Sky will compute its current position and plot it on the map. Each map is accompanied by an ephemeris for the Sun, Moon, planets, and any tracked asteroid or comet. A control panel permits customization of which objects are plotted, limiting magnitudes, colour scheme, image size, and other parameters.

Heavens Above
Provides a range of charts and information, including sky charts for your location (which you'll have to specify).

Observing Resources

Meteor Showers (International Meteor Organization)
A listing of meteor showers that occur throughout the year.

Recent International Astronomical Union Circulars
This page lists the dates of issue and the titles of the items on the twenty most-recent IAUCs. Individual items can be displayed by selecting the relevant title.

International Astronomical Union: Astronomy Headlines
This page contains brief information on recent astronomical discoveries as reported in the International Astronomical Union Circulars (IAUCs) and the Minor Planet Electronic Circulars (MPECs), as well as links to ephemerides and orbital elements for comets and minor planets.

Observable Comets
Lists links to orbital elements and ephemerides of (potentially) observable comets

Approaching Comets
This website is devoted to monitoring all newly detected unknown objects and identified comets which have the potential for becoming significant events in the near future. It is kept updated very frequently, as new information and/or observations come in.

BAA Comet Section
lists links to news, current magnitudes and ephemerides of currently observable comets.

Major News About Minor Objects
The Asteroid/Comet Connection's daily news journal about asteroids, comets, and meteors.

American Association of Variable Star Observers
The AAVSO is the largest organization of variable star observers worldwide. You can get daily updates and find out more about them, the projects they sponsor and the data they make available to astronomers around the world.

The Minima of Algol
The star Algol (Beta Persei) was the first eclipsing variable star ever discovered, and it's still the most famous one. You can check on it whenever you step outdoors on nights when Perseus is in view.

International Occultation and Timing Association
This page gives information on the circumstances of lunar and other types of occultation for various locations around the world.

Solar Observing
The Sun is a fascinating astronomical object to observe. Extreme care is required if you wish to observe the Sun safely. Never look directly at the Sun with the naked eye or with any optical instrument. You must be familiar with the safe observing methods before attempting to observe the Sun.

The Messier Catalog
A listing of images and information on the Messier objects with links to other deep sky catalogues (NGC objects, etc.)

The Interactive NGC Catalog Online
An interactive NGC (IC, and Messier) catalog at SEDS, based on the famous NGC 2000.0 by R.W. Sinnott of Sky Publishing Corp.

The Night Sky Live
The night sky above some of the world's premier observatories. Click on a star to go to live pictures taken by the fisheye CONtinuous CAMeras (CONCAMs) in operation there. Major sponsors of the CONCAM project include the National Science Foundation and the Dept. of Physics at Michigan Technological University.

The Sky at Night
The BBC's dedicated Sky at Night website. Contains realvideo edition of last programme and links to the newsletter and other items.

BBC Space Site
The BBC's dedicated Space website. Contains links to various observing resources.