December 1, 2012 – SPACE – Mild comfortable nights of observing are now behind us. As we approach the Winter Solstice on December 21 at 6:12 am (the earliest date and time for this astronomical event since 1896), our days grow shorter while the nights grow longer. Amateur astronomers like the early sunsets and the longer nighttime skies, but the cold temperatures can shorten one’s observing session quite effectively. However, unless we get slammed with frequent and fast moving weather fronts during meteorological winter (December thru February), the skies can be very clear and transparent.
For those of you who own telescopes of any size, you should take that opportunity to focus your instruments on the planet Jupiter. On December 1, this Jovian world will be at its closest distance to the Earth.
"Tonight's Sky" is produced by HubbleSite.org, online home of the Hubble Space Telescope. This is a recurring show, and you can find more episodes — and other astronomy videos — at HubbleSite.org.
Visit Tonight's Sky on HubbleSite.