above sunset

What’s Up for December 2016?

What’s Up for December? Mars and Neptune above the crescent moon and a New Year’s Eve comet!

2016 ends with fireworks as three planets line up as if ejected from a Roman candle. Mercury, Venus and Mars are visible above the sunset horizon all month long. 

As Venus climbs higher in the sky, it looks brighter and larger than it appeared last month.

On New Year’s Eve, Mars and Neptune appear very close to each other. Through telescopes, rusty red Mars and blue-green Neptune‘s colors contrast beautifully.

There are two meteor showers this month – the Geminds and the Ursids. The best time to see the reliable Geminids will be next year, when the full moon won’t be so bright and interfering. This year, however, we may luck out and see some of the brighter meteors on the evening of the 13th and the morning of the 14th.

The best time to view the Ursids, radiating from Ursa Minor, or the little Dipper, will be from midnight on the 21st until about 1 a.m. on the 22nd, before the
moon rises. They may be active on the 23rd and 24th, too.

We haven’t had a good easy-to-see comet in quite a while, but beginning in December and through most of 2017 we will have several binocular and telescopic comets to view.

The first we’ll be able to see is Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, which will appear low on the western horizon on December 15th. On that date, the comet will pass the pretty globular cluster M75. 

By the 21st, it will appear edge-on, sporting a bluish-green head and a thin, sharp view of the fan-shaped tail.

On New Years Eve, the comet and the crescent moon will rendezvous to say farewell to 2016. A “periodic” comet is a previously-identified comet that’s on a return visit. Periodic comet 45P returns to the inner solar system every 5.25 years, and that’s the one that will help us ring in the new year.

Watch the full What’s Up for December video: 

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

IMAGINE

Camping with them and their favorite thing to do with you.

LEONARDO

I imagine his favorite thing to do with you is setting up the tents. Watching you peer at the instructions, bringing it away and then closer to your face as you mumble abt how “this is bullshit I already used the long bendy rods.”

This is second only to ditching his brothers to go swimming with you at dusk and watch the sunset just above the water with you close.

RAPHAEL

HIKING. EXPLORING. He looves to do this with you. Alone is preferable, but he won’t shoot down an offer to see you get hyped over your surroundings and annoy the hell outta his brothers with your over-enthusiastic; “LOOK at this FUCKING ROCK it looks like Leo. Leo doesn’t this look like you? Raph, baby tell ‘im it looks like him"

“Oh it’s him alright. Only, a lot more handsome.”

MIKEY

Cooking for the fam. He doesn’t want anyone’s help, except for yours. Of course, he will get yelled at for constantly neglecting the eggs in favor of coming up behind you to kiss on you.

Many a morning have been deemed poptart mornings because of it. And lets not mention when he accidentally hits you with some food. You thought Mikey was a fierce food-fight champion? Honey you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

DONATELLO

Like Raph, he likes to explore. But, one of his favorites is just finding a spot away from the others, setting up your tent and spending long hours in there, just talking. Of course, it goes without question he enjoys catching fireflies with you. He enjoys seeing the look of wonderment on your face and how the light of the bugs glow just lights up your face.

APRIL

Fishing. April will sometimes rock the boat on purpose just so you’ll hold onto her. She has the boy chase fish into your area so you can catch them. She always loves seeing how happy you get. It its so cute when you put fish back.

“Okay you have to go back, your too tiny, too pure to be eaten yet. Go, go be free. Say hi to the family for me, and sneak in a good word for me, I’m having your uncle harry for dinner.”

Aesthetic Ask

cotton candy: what’s your favourite dessert?

old maps: where would you travel in space and time?

fairy wings: what’s your favourite mythical creature?

flower crowns: what’s your favourite flower and why? (look up the symbolism if you must)

obscure quotes: what’s your favourite life saying?

candles: what’s your favourite scent? why?

chalk designs: what’s your favourite colour of the rainbow?

thunderstorms: what is on your bucket list?

clouds: what is the first happy memory that comes to mind, recent or otherwise?

pastel pink: have you ever fallen in love?

highlighters: do you wear makeup? what’s your opinion on it?

neon lights: if you could tell the whole world something, what would you say?

coffee: what’s your favourite drink?

books(!): what is your favourite book (help me i need recommendations)

vinyl records: what’s your favourite songs (see above)

sunsets: what’s one thing you wish would go away?

sunrises: what’s one thing you would wish for?

polaroids: what’s a good memory of yours?

SPACE: If you could get away with anything, what would you do?