Mercury will be very low in the SW in the evening twilight but will be lost near the end of December. Venus is low in the SW in the evening twilight. Mars can be seen in the SSW after dark and sets in the WSW near 10pm. Jupiter rises in the E near 2am and is high in the SSE near dawn. Saturn is not observable this month.
The full moon on Dec. 13 is known as the Full Cold Moon. The midwinter full moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low sun.
Further to our discussion on astronomical terms we have Hubble’s Law. Hubble’s Law is the law of physics that states that the further a galaxy is from us the faster it is moving away from us.
A Minor Planet is a term used since the 19th century to describe objects, such as asteroids that are in orbit around the sun but are not planets or comets. In 2006 the International Astronomical Union reclassified minor planets as either dwarf planets or small solar system bodies.
Recent News: After a trip of seven months and half a billion miles, the European Mars Lander has failed on its mission to land on Mars. The Lander was doing well until just before touchdown when it disappeared from radar screens. It is thought that the Mars Lander was travelling at around 350 Kms per hour when it slammed into the Mars surface. The mother ship, known as the Gas Tracer Orbitor, is in stable orbit around Mars and sending back valuable information.
At the Club meeting in the Arts Centre in Sechelt on Jan. 13 Mike Bradley will deliver another talk on astro photography which has proved to be extremely popular. During the coffee break and before the astro photography talk, Club members will gladly help any member or visitor who has questions on their new Christmas telescope. If you can bring the Telescope along members will gladly set it up and help out.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you all next year.