The moon joins Jupiter and Venus in December.
Hello and welcome. I’m Jane Houston Jones at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
December will be a fantastic time to see the solar system from your own back yard.
Step outside at dusk on December 1 and try to see the slender crescent moon above Jupiter and Venus.
Jupiter is larger, but Venus is brighter because it’s closer to the sun.
Throughout December, Venus rises higher in the sky while Jupiter sinks towards the horizon.
We won’t see Jupiter again in the early evening sky until next summer.
Until then, you can follow the progress of JUNO, NASA’s mission to Jupiter, on the Internet. Juno will launch in 2001 and reach Jupiter in 2016. Juno’s infrared and microwave instruments will measure the thermal radiation from deep within Jupiter’s dense atmosphere.
On New Year’s Eve at sunset, bid Jupiter a fond farewell. It’s low on the horizon, while Venus shines higher. And the slim crescent moon lies in-between the two.
And, just at midnight, step out side and look to the East.
That bright golden glow you see, just below the constellation Leo, is Saturn.
You can learn all about NASA’s missions at www.nasa.gov.
That’s all for this month and that’s all for this year!
I’m Jane Houston Jones.