Astronomical Diary
MOON PHASES
lastquarterjpg newmoonjpg firstquarterjpg fullmoonjpg
Last Quarter New Moon First Quarter Full Moon
Dec 19
12:57 PM
Dec 26
1:13 PM
Dec 4
2:58 PM
Dec 12
1:12 PM
SPACE WEATHER
Current Condition X-ray Solar Flares
SOLAR WIND

Speed: 350.6 km/sec
Density: 9.0 protons/cm3
More Data: ACE, DSCOVR

Explanation | More Data
Updated: Dec 01 at 2350 UT

***The sun is blank--no sunspots.

Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory(SDO)/Helioseismic
and Magnetic Imager (HMI).
Daily Sun: 01 Dec 2019
DSun
6-hr max: A8 1924 UT Dec01
24-hr: A8 1316 UT Dec01

Explanation | More Data

Updated: Dec 01 at 2300 UT
Time (PST) of rise and set of some planets at 10-day interval
DATE MERCURY VENUS MARS JUPITER SATURN
Rise Set Rise Set Rise Set Rise Set Rise Set
Dec 07 4:49 AM 4:17 PM 8:19 AM 7:30 PM 3:46 AM 3:18 PM 7:22 AM 6:34 PM 8:36 AM 7:51 PM
Dec 17 5:15 AM 4:33 PM 9:31 AM 7:46 PM 3:35 AM 3:03 PM 6:52 AM 6:04 PM 8:01 AM 7:17 PM
Dec 27 5:44 AM 4:57 PM 8:39 AM 8:02 PM 3:24 AM 2:48 PM 6:23 AM 5:35 PM 7:27 AM 6:42 PM
Dec 31 5:57 AM 5:08 PM 8:42 AM 8:07 PM 3:20 AM 2:43 PM 6:11 AM 5:23 PM 7:13 AM 6:29 PM

* = following day
Astronomical Events December 2019
Annular Solar Eclipse
An Annular eclipse of the Sun will occur on December 26, 2019. The annularity will be visible in some parts of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and Southernmost parts of the Philippines. Refer to Figure 3 for the path of the eclipse.

An annular eclipse happens when the moon is farthest from Earth. Because the moon is farther away from Earth, it seems smaller and does not block the entire view of the sun thus creating a “ring of fire” effect.

In the Philippines, the annular eclipse will be observed in the southernmost part of Davao Occidental and the best site of observation is in Balut and Batulaki, Sarangani Island, Davao Occidental. All other parts of the country will observe it as partial solar eclipse. Table 1 below represents eclipse data at selected places.
Table 1
Table 1: Eclipse Data
(click to view table)
Fig3
Figure 3
(click to view image)
Fig3a
Figure 3
(click to view image)



Winter Solstice
The Sun will reach the Winter Solstice on December 22 at 12:19 PM (PST). This marks the time when the Sun lies at its farthest point south of the equator. It signals the onset of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Philippine nights will be longer than the daytime. Earth has now completed another annual circuit around the Sun.


Meteor Shower
The annual Geminid meteor shower will be active from December 7-17. The observation of its peak activity is on the night of December 14 until the early morning hours of December 15. The constellation of Gemini, the Twin, is easy to spot through its two bright stars Castor and Pollux, which are just to the left of constellations Orion and Auriga. Under a dark and cloudless sky and just after midnight of its peak activity, meteors or “falling stars” can be seen at an average rate of forty (40) or more meteors per hour. The shower will appear to radiate from the constellation of Gemini, as shown in Figure 2.

There’s a big difference between the Geminids and other meteor showers. The Geminids meteors do not originate from a comet, they come from an asteroid (3200 Phaethon). Meteors from this shower are very rocky and gritty and slightly easier to see compared to the other showers.

Fig2
Figure 2
(click to view image)
Stars and Constellations
The famous equilateral triangle in the sky, known as the Winter Triangle can be observed during the month. The triangle is composed of Betelgeuse, the super giant red star and the prominent star of the famous constellation Orion (the Mighty Hunter), Sirius, the brightest star in the sky of the constellation Canis Major (the Big Dog), and Procyon, the brightest star of the constellation Canis Minor (the Little Dog) as shown in Figures 1 & 1a.
Fig1
Figure 1
(click to view image)
Fig1a
Figure 1a
(click to view image)
Planets Whereabout
On the first week of the month, catch a glimpse of Mercury while it rises in the eastern horizon among the background stars of the constellation Libra, the Scales, with magnitude -0.60 . By the second week, Mercury slowly moves close to the Sun and it will be difficult to observe.

Venus, the brightest planet in the sky, with magnitude -3.9, is visible throughout the month in the southwestern sky after sunset among the background stars of the constellation Sagittarius, the Archer, and on the third week, it will move among the background stars of the constellation Capricorn, the Sea Goat.

Jupiter and Saturn is found in the southwestern horizon after sunset among the background stars of the constellation Sagittarius, the Archer, with magnitudes -1.8 and 0.5, respectively. On the third week, Jupiter slowly moves close to the Sun and it will be difficult to observe.

Uranus and Neptune is visible throughout the month. Uranus lies among the background stars of the constellation Aries, the Ram, while Neptune lurks among the background stars of the constellation Aquarius, the Water-Bearer. Observing these two planets under dark and clear sky condition require a binocular or a telescope and a starmap

DECEMBER 2019
DATE EVENT TIME (PhST)
4 Neptune 4.4° N of Moon 8:00 PM
5 Moon at apogee (farthest distance to Earth = 404,373.737 km) 12:08 PM
8 Uranus 4.6° N of Moon 7:00 PM
19 Moon at perigee (nearest distance to Earth = 370,289.859 km) 4:25 AM
22 WINTER SOLSTICE 12:19 PM
26 SOLAR ECLIPSE (visible in the Philippines)
Partial Eclipse in Manila
Annular Eclipse in Balut, Sarangani Island
(Start of Eclipse)
12:32 PM
12:43 PM
27 Saturn 2.3° N of Moon 6:00 PM
28 Jupiter in conjunction with Sun 2:00 AM
31 Neptune 7.7 N of Moon 8:00 PM