Three planets may now be visible in the evening twilight; Venus is the brightest and most easily found. Mars is much fainter, reddish, and is sinking lower each night. In contrast, Mercury is quickly moving away from the Sun and may just be visible, very close to the horizon. Observers in the southern hemisphere have the best chance of being able to see this tiny world.
(Click on an image to enlarge.)
Images Courtesy of Mobile Observatory.
14:48 UT – The waxing crescent Moon is north of Neptune. (Neptune: magnitude 7.9, apparent diameter 2.2”. Aquarius, evening sky.)
19:47 UT – Venus is at aphelion. Distance to Sun: 0.728 AU. (97% illuminated, magnitude -3.9, apparent diameter 10.2”. Sagittarius, evening sky.)
Mercury increases its apparent diameter to 5.0”. (95% illuminated, magnitude -0.8. Sagittarius, evening sky.)
The Ursid meteor shower comes to an end. (Maximum Zenith Hourly Rate: 10)
Events in bold involve objects and/or events that are easily visible with the naked eye.
All times are in Universal Time (UTC). To convert the time to your timezone, click here.
Learn more about every upcoming astronomical event in 2015 An Astronomical Year (Kindle eBook) and The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) (Kindle eBook) and The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) (Paperback Edition).
The Amateur Astronomer’s Notebook allows astronomers to log 150 observing sessions and includes an appendix of hundreds of suggested deep sky objects.