[Epoch Times December 08, 2021](Epoch Times reporter Li Yan comprehensive report) In December, three unusual astronomical wonders will appear in the night sky of the Hudson River Valley in New York. If the weather permits, lucky stargazers can get a glimpse here.
December 10: Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and the moon converge
On December 9, the planets and moons began to line up, kicking off a series of extraordinary sights. The best viewing time is the morning of December 10th. Jack Chastain, chairman of the Central Hudson Astronomical Association, described it as follows: Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn will appear in the sky in a fan shape, in line with the moon, forming “stunning scenery.”
The Times Union reported that as long as you go out at 7:15 in the morning, before Venus starts to fall, you can see this peculiar scene.
Chastain said that one of the best places to appreciate this scene is the Hudson River Walk that opens at 7 am. “You can stand anywhere on the sidewalk and see Venus on the horizon, as well as Saturn, Jupiter, and the moon.”
At this time, Venus is relatively close to the earth (but not its closest distance to the earth), and its brightness is second only to the moon, which is almost full. Saturn, between Jupiter and Venus, will be golden, with a brightness that will surpass most of the stars that night.
December 14: Comet Leonard can be seen
On December 12, Leonard, the brightest comet of the year, will approach the Earth for the first time in tens of thousands of years, within 21 million miles (34 million kilometers). This month, the comet can be seen in the skies of the northern and southern hemispheres.
This comet was first discovered in January by astronomer Greg Leonard. According to “Sky and Telescope”, this celestial body may have been flying towards the sun for the past 35,000 years. After passing the sun, it will leave our solar system, and it will never be seen on Earth.
According to EarthSky reports, Leonard is also an ultrafast comet, passing through the inner solar system at a speed of 158,084 miles per hour (71 kilometers per second), but due to its distance from the Earth, it appears to be moving slowly.
When a comet approaches the sun, it will brighten, which is why comets are more likely to show up in the weeks before this event.
Everyone on the earth can now observe this comet that “wait once every thousand years” with binoculars or telescopes. But starting from December 14th, stargazers can see this year’s brightest comet in the night sky with their naked eyes, and it will last for several days.
Chastain suggested watching the comet under the handle of the Big Dipper, and finding a place with the least light pollution to enjoy it quietly.
Also on December 14, the annual Geminid (Geminid) meteor shower will begin to shine in the early morning. The peak period usually occurs at 2:00-03:00 (local time) in the morning of the day.
If it is not cloudy, as many as 150 meteorites may be seen every hour at the peak.
“Generally speaking, it’s worth staying up late.” Chastain said, don’t watch with binoculars, this will only limit your vision.
However, at that time, a gibbous moon between half and full moon will appear in the night sky. As it gets brighter, it may “wash out” relatively dark meteors.
Experts reminded that in order to watch the meteors, you should wear cold-proof clothes when you go out in the morning and look for a place with the least light pollution.
The Gemini meteor shower is a meteor shower caused by the asteroid Faeu. It and the Quadrantid meteor shower are currently known two meteor showers that are not caused by comets.
Editor in charge: Li Huanyu#