Evening sky in DECEMBER 2013
In the north four bright stars form the Great Square of Pegasus, the constellation of the Flying Horse. Below Pegasus and slightly to the right is the constellation of Andromeda (Chained Maiden). According to Greek mythology Andromeda was chained to a rock so she could be eaten by Cetus (Sea Monster) which is seen higher up between Pisces (Fishes) and Eridanus (River). The bright star Achernar marks one end of the River. Another bright star, Fomalhaut, lies in Piscis Austrinus, the Southern Fish. Towards the east Orion (Hunter) is easily identified by the three bright stars forming Orion's Belt.
Towards the right of Orion is Canis Major (Big Dog) and towards the left, Taurus (Bull). This "summer hunting scene" indicates that summer is on its way, officially starting on 21 December (summer solstice). The Southern Cross (Crux) is now low above the south-eastern horizon.
Planet Venus is the "evening star" in Sagittarius (Archer). Jupiter, the biggest planet in the solar system, lies in the direction of Gemini (Twins), visible in the east towards the end of the month.
The Moon is in the early evening sky from 4 December until 18 December.
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