Podaster: Shane and Chris

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Title: The Observer’s Calendar for December 2023

Organization:  Actual Astronomy

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Description:  The Actual Astronomy Podcast presents The Observer’s Calendar for December 2023.  In this episode we’ll talk about spotting Uranus Naked Eye, Catching the Geminid Meteor Shower’s 120 meteors an hour, see some asteroids while the Moon Pairs with Venus, Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter, and on December 30th we finally get a double shadow transit on Jupiter for everyone in North America!

Bio: Shane and Chris are amateur astronomers who enjoy teaching astronomy classes and performing outreach where they help the eyes of the public to telescope eyepieces.

Today’s sponsor:  Big thanks to our Patreon supporters this month:  Paul M. Sutter, Chris Nealen, Frank Frankovic, Frank Tippin, Jako Danar, Michael Freedman, Nik Whitehead, Rani Bush, Ron Diehl, Steven Emert, Brett Duane, Don Swartwout, Vladimir Bogdanov, Steven Kluth, Steve Nerlich, Phyllis Foster, Michael W, James K Wood, Katrina Ince, Cherry Wood.

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The Observer’s Calendar for December 2023 on Episode 379 of the Actual Astronomy podcast. I’m Chris and joining me is Shane. We are amateur astronomers who love looking up at the night sky and this podcast is for everyone who enjoys going out under the stars.

  • Patreon Calendar Draw reminder

Dec 4th – Mercury at greatest Elongation in evening sky 21-degrees

Dec 5th – Last quarter Moon

Dec 6 – Curtis X visible – Day of Darkness

Dec 9 – Venus 4-degrees North of Moon

Dec 10 – try to spot Uranus at M=5.7 this week in Aries

Dec 12th – New Moon

December 14 Mercury 4-degrees north of the Moon — not here…at least in my software

And Geminid Meteor Show Peaks – ZHR = 120!

Dec 17 – Saturn 2-degrees N of Moon in Aquarius

December 19th Double Shadow Transit on Jupiter?

Dec 20 -Lunar Straight wall

And First Quarter Moon

Dec 21st – Winter Solstice and Jupiter 3-degrees South of the Moon

Dec 22nd Ursid Meteor Shower Peaks – ZHR = 10

Asteroid Metis 9 at 8.4 magnitude opposition

discovered by Andrew Graham on 25 April 1848, at Markree Observatory in Ireland. Metis (minor planet designation: 9 Metis) is one of the larger main-belt asteroids. It is composed of silicates and metallic nickel-iron, and may be the core remnant of a large asteroid that was destroyed by an ancient collision. Metis is estimated to contain just under half a percent of the total mass of the asteroid belt.

Dec 26 Full Moon

Dec 28 Asteroid 5 Astraea at Opposition

5 Astraea  is an asteroid in the asteroid belt. Its surface is highly reflective and its composition is probably a mixture of nickel–iron with silicates of magnesium and iron. It is an S-type asteroid in the Tholen classification system. Astraea was the fifth asteroid discovered, on 8 December 1845, by Karl Ludwig Hencke and named for Astraea, a Greek goddess of justice named after the stars. It was his first of two asteroid discoveries. The second was 6 Hebe. A German amateur astronomer and post office headmaster, Hencke was looking for 4 Vesta when he stumbled on Astraea. The King of Prussia awarded him an annual pension of 1,200 marks for the discovery.

Dec 30 Double Shadow Transit on Jupiter YES!

Concluding Listener Message: Just a reminder for our Patreon Calendar Draw, all you need to do is be a Patreon Supporter to be placed in our draw. Thanks to everyone for listening and you can always send us your show ideas, observations and questions to

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