The Sky This Month: December 2004–January 2005

All times are in EST.

Dec 18
Sat
11:40 AM
First quarter Moon
Dec 21
Tue 07:42 AM
Winter solstice
Dec 26
Sun
10:06 AM
Full Moon
Dec 29
Wed
00:00 AM
Mercury 1.2° N of Venus
Dec 29
Wed
04:00 PM
Mercury  greatest elongation W
Jan 1
Sat
08:00 PM
Earth at perihelion (147,099,100 km)
Jan 3, 4, 6
Mon Tue Thu

Deep sky observing (1st clear night)
Jan 3
Mon
12:46 PM
Last quarter Moon
Jan 3
Mon
09:00 PM
Jupiter 0.4° N of Moon
Jan 7
Fri
03:00 PM
Antares 1.3° S of Moon
Jan 10–13
Mon–Thu

City observing (1st clear night)
Jan 10
Mon 07:03 AM
New Moon

Orion and Gemini

Object
Designation
Const
Details
Comet
C/2004 Q2
Eri–Per
mag 5.1–4.1/0.46–0.35 au Comet Machholz
Planet
Saturn
Gemini
mag -0.4 – -0.2/8.2–8.1 au
Double DS-18 Beta
Orion
mag 0.1 6.8/sep 9.5"/pa 202°/773 ly Rigel ****
Double
DS-20 Delta
Orion
mag 2.2 6.3/sep 52.6"/pa 359°/916 ly Mintaka ****
Double
DS-22 Lambda
Orion
mag 3.6 5.5/sep 4.4"/pa 43°/1055 ly ****
Quad
DS-23 Theta 1
Orion
mag 6.7 7.9 5.1 6.7/sep 8.8" 13" 21.5"/1500 ly Trapezium *****
Double
DS-24 Iota
Orion
mag 2.8 6.9/sep 11.3"/pa 141°/1325 ly *****
Triple DS-26 Sigma
Orion mag 4.0 7.5 6.5/sep 12.9" 43"/pa 84° 61°/1300 ly ****
Triple
DS-27 Zeta
Orion
mag 1.9 4.0 9.9/sep 2.4" 58"/pa 162° 10°/817 ly Alnitak ****
Double
DS-34 Delta
Gemini
mag 3.5 8.2/sep 6.8"/pa 211°/59 ly Wasat ****
Double
DS-34 Alpha
Gemini
mag 1.9 2.9/sep 2.2"/pa 171°/52 ly Castor ****
Cl + neb
M 42
Orion
mag 4.0/1500 ly Orion Nebula *****
Diff neb
M 43
Orion
mag 9.0/1500 ly *****
Diff neb
M 78
Orion
mag 8.0/1500 ly ****
Open cl
M 35
Gemini
mag 5.1/2000 ly *****
Plan neb
NGC 2392
Gemini
mag. 8.6/surf bright 6.8/3000 ly Eskimo Nebula *****



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