Pocket Sky-Atlas Challenges for December

The December Sky

The Hunter is well placed in the night sky this month. Any observing session will usually start or end with a look at M42, and why not? Observing instruments from the naked eye to the largest telescope will yield some level of detail on these cold crisp nights. So for those brave enough to venture away from the fireside, drink it in and imagine just what might be going on there now.

With all the hubbub and commitments of the holiday season, it’s hard to find a half hour or so to just pop outside and have a look at the night sky. When you need a break from all the confusion, the night sky is always there, as constant as ever, and as tranquil as any oasis. Dress warmly for any outing as you may find yourself spending more time than anticipated, but it will be time well spent, nonetheless.


I’ve indexed the object to its star chart page.

Naked Eye


Capella, page 12.
Bellatrix, Betelgeuse, Meissa, Page 14.
Aldebaran, page 15.
M45, page 15.
Saiph, Rigel, Cursa, Alnitak, Alnilam, Mintaka, Page 16.

Larger Scopes


NGC 7814, page 5.
NGC 988, page 6.
NGC 1360, page 17.
NGC 7741, page 74.


Small Scopes and Binoculars


TV (AKA SAO 91910, Hip, 2219), page 5.
M34, page 13.
R Leporis (Hind’s Crimson Star), page 16.
Markab page 74.


Bonus Objects


NGC 1662, page 15.
NGC 2204, Page 16.
NGC 7006, Page 75.
NGC 7606, page 76.


Happy Hunting!

Published with permission of John Kulczycki, 2012 all rights reserved.

About the Author

I’ve been a freelance writer for more than 20 years, but I’ve been an amateur astronomer for longer than that. Astronomy is the one science that everyone can try and make significant contributions. All you need to do is take the first step and go outside to enjoy then night sky.

I’ll see you there!