Mercury

Stellarium

No problem seeing June's Strawberry Moon this week, and the twins Castor and Pollux are hanging out with Mercury in the eastern sky.

But  Venus has temporarily disappeared in the sun's glare. (Folks of a certain age may want to enjoy this flashback to John Stewart's album Bombs Away Dream Babies and one of the singles from that album,"Lost Her In The Sun")

Bob King. Used with permission.

Venus's upcoming conjunction with the sun means it will be backlit to a fare-thee-well in the next few weeks, but after that, it changes things up and decides to try out life as a morning star for a while.

This morning on StarDate, we discovered that, over the years, comets have gotten some seriously bad press.

In fact, in 1910, folks were so concerned about the gases they feared were emitted by the tail of Halley's Comet, they were buying up pills alleged to combat the toxins (Apparently for those too poor to afford the rental of a "submarine boat").

Marco Langbroek

The moon returns to the western sky, why there's no Ophiucus sign in the zodiac, although there is a constellation, and the rwo of 60 twinkling spaceships in the sky at the end of last month.

You can read more Astro Bob, including this latest post about how to see Mercury, here.

Lisa Johnson

The earth is as close to the sun as it gets today -- and after the latest sunrise of the year (7:54am) , the sun will come out - tomorrow - a little bit earlier.

Plus a wrap-up of December stats, the Christmas Bird Count and a trio of planets to enjoy in the southern sky.

Christopher Harwood

Before yesterday it was looking to be one of the driest Decembers on record. However, yesterday's snowfall set a Northland record for that date.  Larry Weber talks about the snowfall, what will happen to it when it turns cold in the next 24 hours, and what the snow means for area wildlife, such as ruffed grouse, snowshoe hares, and tiny rodents.  The trees are particularly spectacular today.

Venus, Jupiter and Mercury are very closely aligned right now in the pre-dawn sky.  And on perihelion is coming up January 2, 2019, when the earth is closest to the sun in its annual orbit.