Buresh Blog: Mild, somewhat wet Nov... 80-degree winter days... Dec./early Jan. night skies

Jacksonville, FL — November ended up mild & somewhat wet. “Somewhat” because almost all of the Nov. rain fell on a single day - Nov. 10th when Nicole moved across Florida. There were only 4 other days with measurable rain with the month ending up just a bit more than 1″ above average.

Our - Jacksonville - streak of at least one 80 degree day each month continues reaching nearly 7 years! Temps. were 80+ Tue. & Wed., Dec. 6-7 including a record-tying high of 83 degrees on the 7th (Dec. 7th, 2013).

Night skies into January (Sky & Telescope):

Dec. 7 (evening): The full Moon occults (briefly covers) Mars for much of North America.

Dec. 10 (evening): The waning gibbous Moon, Castor, and Pollux form a triangle as they rise in the northeast.

Dec. 14 (morning): The maximum of the Geminid meteor shower coincides with a waning gibbous Moon.

Dec. 18 (morning): The waning crescent Moon is 5° from Spica, Virgo’s brightest star, above the southeastern horizon.

Dec. 21 (night): Northern Hemisphere winter begins at the solstice at 4:48 p.m. EST (1:48 p.m. PST).

Dec. 24 (dusk): The Moon, Venus, and Mercury form a triangle just above the southwestern horizon near the horizon.

Dec. 26 (dusk): The thin waxing lunar crescent hangs around 5° left of Saturn high in the southwest.

Dec. 28, 29 (dusk): Mercury and Venus are less than 2° apart very low in the southwest after sunset.

Dec. 29 (evening): High in the southwest, the first-quarter Moon stands guard around 6½° above left of Jupiter

Dec. 31 (evening): The Moon is poised about halfway between Mars (in the east) and Jupiter (in the south).

Jan. 3 (evening): Look above Aldebaran, in Taurus, the Bull, to spot the Moon and Mars about 2½° apart.

Jan. 4: Earth is at perihelion, its closest point to the Sun for 2023, at a distance of 91,420,000 miles (147,099,000 km).

Jan. 4 (morning): The short-lived Quadrantid shower peaks, but the waxing gibbous Moon will interfere.

Moon Phases

Full Moon Dec. 7 11:08 p.m. EST (Cold Moon; Mars occulted for most of N. America)

Last Quarter Dec. 16 3:56 a.m. EST

New Moon Dec. 23 5:17 a.m. EST

First Quarter Dec. 29 8:21 p.m. EST

A really good time Tue., Dec. 6th as my wife & I had the honor of being a couple of the judges for Naval Station Mayport holiday lights. Lots of ships participating in what was a very fun & festive night! Thanks to all the sailors & their families for their dedication to our country.

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