On the first Friday of every month we post educational skywatching notes for the homeschool month ahead. Here’s the monthly northern hemisphere review for December 2018, courtesy of the Hubble Space Telescope’s website:
The more advanced sky summary from space.com provides additional details and is perfect for every serious young astronomy student:
There is also a COMET ☄️ on the way! Comet 46P/Wirtanen is expected to peak around the 16th and may be visible to the naked eye at that time. Here are some excellent details from timeanddate.com:
Comets of this brightness (with near naked-eye visibility) don’t occur very often, so if you have a pair of binoculars it will definitely be worth taking a look.
The best general stargazing nights in December will be toward the beginning and middle of the month — the moon is new (and the sky darkest) today. As always, you also can track the moon’s phases at timeanddate.com.
What celestial observations have you made in your homeschool lately? 😊
❡ Watchers of the skies: Teaching your students to recognize the constellations is one of the simplest and most enduring gifts you can give them. The planisphere on the front of your River Houses star atlas (riverhouses.org/books) will let you dial up the northern hemisphere sky for any night of the year, and the descriptions and maps of each constellation will point out the highlights. Find a dark-sky spot near you this month and spend some quality homeschool time beneath the starry vault. 🌠 🔭 🌌