This is Ephemeris for Friday, December 18th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 48 minutes, setting at 5:03, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:16. The Moon, 3 days before first quarter, will set at 9:29 this evening.
Monday will host two astronomical events. The second will be the extremely close conjunction or appearing together of the planets Jupiter and Saturn, which I’ll talk about then. But first, at 5:02 Monday morning winter will begin with the winter or December solstice. The word solstice means Sun stand still. On or about December 21st, the Sun appears to stop moving southward measured at noon and will begin moving northward again. All this is the result of the Earth’s 23 ½ degree axial tilt and our motion around the Sun. Our area of the globe is now receiving less energy from the Sun to support our temperatures, and they will continue to fall for the next month or so even as the Sun rises higher and stays out longer.
The event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
The sun’s daily path through the sky from horizon ...