DAS Activities

DAS Public Nights

Public Nights
Tuesday and Thursday at
DU's Historic Chamberlin Observatory
Current start time is 7:30 pm
Costs to the public are:
$4.00 adults, $3.00 children

To book, please click:

Public Night Reservations

Astro Calendar

“What’s Out Tonight – December 2018”
Star Chart and Data
(courtesy of Ken Graun © 2018)

Astronomical Things to See and Do – December 2018

(NOTE: to find the MST for UT, subtract 7 hours from the UT listing)


46P/Wirtanen (2018) Ephemeris   (from In-the-sky.org)

Images and Sky Map on Weekly Comet News

Weekly Comet News: http://www.aerith.net/comet/weekly/current.html

NASA Web page on comets: http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/planets/cometpage.html

Planetary Phenomena

Planets in December 2018LocationAvg MagnitudeAvg SizeNotes
MercuryMorning sky-0.37.4"Conjunction with Jupiter on the 21st
VenusBright morning twilight -4.834.8"Slender crescent; near crescent Moon on Dec 2nd
MarsIn Aquarius, then Pisces-0.18.6"0.04 deg from Neptune on the 7th
JupiterIn morning twilight; late in Dec; SE sky-1.731.2"
SaturnIn Sun glare; unobservable0.5 15.1"
Uranus01h 47m; evening sky, Pisces-Aries border5.73.6"
Neptune23h 01m; W evening sky in Aquarius7.92.2"0.04 deg from Mars on the 7th

Moon Phases & Info: https://moon.nasa.gov/

Moon PhenomenaDateTime (UT)Comment
New MoonDecember 7th 07 20Lunation 1187
1st QuarterDecember 15th 11 49
Full MoonDecember 22nd 17 49Bitter Moon
Third QuarterDecember 29th 09 34

Meteor Showers This Month

Shower NameUT /peak hrDuration (Days)Hourly Rate (ZHR)% Above Horizon% Moon Illumination
+ waxing
- waning
Particle Size - r
(smaller# = larger size)
RADecv - speed (km/sec)
GeminidsDec 14th 12h112910041+2.37.28+3336 (moderate)
UrsidsDec 22nd 21h0.5101001003.014.36+7535 (moderate)

American Meteor Society: http://www.amsmeteors.org/meteor-showers/meteor-shower-calendar/


Notable Objects for Deep Sky Observers

Catalog #DescriptionRight
M74Face-on Galaxy01 42.4+15 47Pisces
M76Little Dumbbell Planetary Nebula01 42.4+51.34Perseus
M33Pinwheel or
Triangulum Galaxy
01 33.9+30 39Triangulum
NGC 253Silver Dollar Galaxy00 47.6-25 17Sculptor
NGC 457Owl or ET open star cluster01 19.1+58 20Cassiopeia
(Note: Supernova visible)
Seyfert Galaxy02 42.7-00 01Cetus
M30Globular Cluster21 40.4-23 11Capricorn
NGC 7331Deer Lick Galaxy22 31.7+34 25Pegasus
M31, M32, M110Andromeda Galaxy & companions0 42.7+41 16Andromeda
M15Globular Cluster21 30.0+12 10Pegasus
NGC 6960, 6992/5, 7000Veil Nebula20 45.7 thru
+30.43 thru
NGC6888+Crescent Nebula
(Use nebular filter)
20 12.0+38 21Cygnus
NOTES+ Challenge Object*If multiple, brightest component.

Observing Opportunities

Open House – Saturday, December 15th 5:30 pm – 11 pm at DU’s Historic Chamberlin Observatory (Open to Public)

EGK Dark Site – Any night or Dark Sky Weekend, December 7th – 9th (Members & Guests)