This Week's Sky at a Glance
6 months ago
Night sky sights for November 30 – December 8.
6 months ago
Wednesday, December 5
Ganymede, the largest satellite of Jupiter, crosses Jupiter's face tonight from 9:25 to 11:17 p.m. EST, closely followed by its black shadow from 9:37 to 11:44 p.m. EST. In amateur telescopes, Ganymede's shadow will be much more obvious against Jupiter's bright surface than Ganymede itself is.
Thursday, December 6
- Last-quarter Moon (exact at 10:31 a.m). The Moon rises around the middle of the night tonight. In the small hours of Friday morning it climbs the eastern sky beneath Leo.
Jupiter's Great Red Spot crosses Jupiter's central meridian around 11:45 p.m. EST. (For all of Jupiter's satellite events and Great Red Spot transit times this month, good worldwide, see the December Sky & Telescope, pages 51–52.)
Friday, December 7
This is the time of year when the Andromeda Galaxy, M31, passes the zenith in early evening for skywatchers at mid-northern latitudes. It goes exactly through your zenith if you're at 41° north latitude (New York, Denver). Whenthis happens depends on your location.
Saturday, December 8
- This is the time of year when Cassiopeia, now a flattened M shape, is poised at its very highest in the north in early evening.
- Vesta is at is opposition tonight, not far from Jupiter. It's magnitude 6.4. Ceres, which comes to opposition in nine days, is magnitude 6.9. Spot them in binoculars using our finder chart in the December Sky & Telescope, page 50, or online.