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ASTRONOMICAL NOTES FOR DECEMBER, Issue 15664, 1 December 1914
ASTRONOMICAL NOTES FOR DECEMBER
[By the Hon. Director, Wanganui Observatory.] —The Sun-, is in the constellation Scorpio till the 19th, when he enters Sagittarius. His declination increases towards the south till the morning of the 23rd, when he is at the position of summer solstice and greatest southern declination for the year, after which his motion is again towards the Northern Hemisphere. Sun spots have been scarce again during the past month. A pair of small spots entered on the 3rd in the Northern Hemisphere, These separated rapidly, and a mass of smaller black pores were apparent between. Another small group were visible in the southern solar hemisphere towards the end of the month. Faculae were very Hue at the limb during the middle of November.
—The Moon—will he near Saturn on the evening of the 4th at 10.14 p.m., Venus on the 15th. to the south; Mercury on the evening of the I6th; Mars on the evening of the 17th; Jupiter on the 20th and 2lst, and to the north of the planet’s centre. She will pass through the constellations visible in our evening skies as follows :~ln Taurus on the Ist, 2nd, and 3rd. and nearest the might red star Aldebaran on the 2nd; fiemini on the 4th, sth, and 6th. and nearest, the two bright stars Castor and 1 ollux on the latter date. She will he again visible in the e-arly evening in the western sky on the 20th in Capricomus, moving out of this constellation on the following evening into Aquarius. She will be in the latter constellation on ths 22mi and 23rd; Pisces on the 24th, 25th, and 26th; Aries on the 27th and 28th;Taurus on the 29th and till the end of tin month, passing the bright red star Alda baran again on the afternoon of the 30th. —Phases of the Moon in New Zealand Mean Time.—
—Mercury—is a morning star throughout December, in the constellations Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius. He will make a close conjunction with l r euus on the morning of tbe Bth; in conjunction with the Moon on the 16th; in aphelion on the 27th. —Venus— baring passed the Sun is now a morning star. Her path towards the Sun appeal* very rapid as viewed from the Earth, and she will appear to separate from him again very speedily, and will be on the meridian at about 9 a.m. after the middle of the month, when she may be seen by the naked eye at an elevation of 66deg. She will be in lunar conjunction on the 15th, ctationarv amongst the stars on the 17th, and in close conjunction with Mercury on the Bth.
—Mara—is an evening star till the 22nd, after which, having passed the Sun, he will rise before him and become a morning star, but not* visible for some time, being too war the Sun's rays. He will be in lunar conjunction on the 17th, at which time he will bo between the Sun an 4 Moon as taken from the Earth, the Moon being “new’’ at the firm. , ,'i --Jupiter is an evening star during the month, moving forward in the constellation Capri' cornua. Although past opposition, he is still a very line object in a good telescope. The occult action of tiha planet on the 23rd ul(_ as viewed in the 9Ain telescope of this observatory, presented a fine-spec-tacle. Observers in these parts were favored with a fine evening. The conjunction on the 21-st takes place at Ih 3min p.m., at which time it will require a good telescope to watch the phenomenon. —Saturn—is an evening star during the month, retrograding in the constellation Gemini. Ho may be observed in the telescope late in the” evening, and seen to advantage, but beds well down in northern declination. The observer should wait till he is at least within 10 or 15 degrees of the meridian. He will.be in lunar conjunction on the 4th, and will be in opposition on the 22nd. —Uranus— is an evening star in Capricornus, moving forward. He will bo in conjunction with the Moon on the evening of the 20th. —Neptune—is an evening star in Cancer, and has a retrograde motion, at this time, amongst the stars. He will be in conjunction with the Moon on the 7th. —The Constellations—visible in our evening skies are placed for the middle of tbe month as follows :—ln the north and low down are the eastern flare of Andromeda; the others, with the Croat Square of Pegasus, are well over towards the west. The Triangle is over Andromeda, and Aries over it again, with Pisces above Pegasus. Cetus is over all tb.o.se mentioned, and placed across file meridiaUj high up in the heavens at this time. Taurus, with the groups of the Pleiades and Hyados, are well up in the north-east, and Perseus close to the horizon in the same quarter. A little more towards the east may be seen Orion, and over him Eridanus. Cauls Major and*th« brilliant -Sirius are nearly due east, and Argo and the bright Canopus more towards the south. The -Southern Cross, having now passed under the polar position, will be found to the east of the southern meridian, its Pointers (Alpha and Beta Centauri) being just on the meridian at this time, followed by Ara and the Triangle. Hydras and Toucan are over the South Pole, and Pavo and Indus to the east. In the west Sagittarius has partly set, and Capricornus and Aquarius are nearing the horizon, with Grua and Pisces Australis above those Zodiacal constellations.
D. H. M. Full Moon ... 3 5 51 a.m. Last quarter ... 10 11 2 p.m. Kew Moon ... 17 2 S p.m. First quarter ... ... m 7 65 p.m. Perigee ... 16 1 42 a.m. Apogee ... 23 0 12 a.m.
ASTRONOMICAL NOTES FOR DECEMBER, Issue 15664, 1 December 1914
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