Article written by: Ria Mee, Education Officer
The long cold dark nights have well and truly settled in, and now that it’s December it’s officially acceptable to say the C word. Christmas, Christmas is coming! And so is Santa Claus! Decorations are going up, there’s a mad panic to buy Christmas presents and families are organising who’s having dinner and where. Ahh I love this time of year. Now, there is a silver lining, this December there are so many fascinating celestial objects that we can see in our night sky, so let’s take a look.
First things first, on 7th December there will be a New Moon. The Moon will be located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and so not visible in the night sky. This means it’s an excellent time to go stargazing as the sky is much darker making it much easier to see fainter objects in the December night sky.
The three bright stars marking Orion’s belt and Betelgeuse and Rigel is easily visible in the sky. Credit: Stellarium/Ria Mee/Armagh Observatory and Planetarium
On that note, one of the most famous constellations visible in the December night sky is Orion the ...