Near the start of December, we will be treated to a dazzling show of bright planets after sunset. Look south to southwest shortly after sunset and you will see bright objects emerging from the twilight glow. As it gets darker, you will first see the moon in the south, then Venus, Jupiter and eventually Saturn in the southwest.

Planetary alignments are common and they happen often. They do not mean anything special but are those times when the motion of the individual planets in their orbits result in them appearing in the same region of the sky. All planets follow the ecliptic (the path of the sun across our skies). They are things of beauty and this is a very pretty one.

Come join us at the Insperity Observatory for Public Night on the first Friday each month from sunset to 10 p.m. and check out the celestial wonders: humbleisd.net/observatory.

Aaron Clevenson
Author: Aaron ClevensonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am the observatory director at the Insperity Observatory in Humble ISD. I am also an adjunct astronomy professor at Lone Star College-Montgomery where I teach solar system astronomy and stars and galaxies astronomy. I am the author of the astronomy textbook, “Astronomy for Mere Mortals.” I am a past president of the North Houston Astronomy Club, and was the chair of Astronomy Day in Southeast Texas in 2015 and 2016. He is an observing program director with The Astronomical League, coordinates their Master Observer Progression Awards, and has authored six of their observing programs.

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