Jeff Benuzzi's Observing Recommendations

Jeff Benuzzi is an amateur astronomer and ham radio operator.
For many years, Jeff has participated in the public observing sessions
supported by the Chicago Astronomical Society, where he helps folks
locate and observe celestial objects.  He is a regular speaker at Astrofest.
Jeff publishes a monthly list of his favorite objects observable with
binoculars which is available at
Visit Jeff's website at:

Upcoming Observing Highlights for December 2020 (from
3 Moon near Castor at 21h UT (morning sky).
4 Moon near Beehive Cluster M44 (morning sky) at 4h UT.
Beehive_Cluster (Wikipedia)
M44: The Beehive Cluster (APOD)
6 Moon near Regulus at 20h UT. (morning sky)
Regulus (Wikipedia)
8 Last Quarter Moon at 0:37h UT
10 Moon near Spica at 18h UT (morning sky).
Spica (Wikipedia)
12 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 20:43 UT (distance 361,773 km; angular size 33.0').
14 Geminid Meteor Shower peaks in a broad maximum centred at 1h UT. Produces bright, medium-speed meteors at its peak (up to 80 meteors/hour). Most reliable annual meteor shower. Easy to observe (radiant on sky map). Best after midnight.
Meteor Shower Calendar (IMO)
Geminids (NASA)
Geminids of the North (APOD)
14 Total Solar Eclipse from 14:32 to 17:54 UT, greatest eclipse at 16:13 UT (duration 2m 10s). Totality visible along narrow path crossing the South Pacific, Chile, Argentina and South Atlantic. Partial eclipse in South America and Antarctica.
Total Solar Eclipse of 2020 December 14 (GIF) (NASA)
Solar Eclipses: 2011 - 2030 (Mr. Eclipse)
NASA Solar Eclipse Page (NASA)
14 New Moon at 16:18 UT. Start of lunation 1212.
17 Moon, Jupiter and Saturn within a circle of diam. 3.0° (evening sky) at 6h UT. Mags. −2.0 and 0.6.
Jupiter (Wikipedia)
Saturn (Wikipedia)
17 Moon near Pollux (evening sky) at 6h UT.
21 December solstice at 10:01 UT. The time when the Sun reaches the point farthest south of the celestial equator marking the start of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the Southern Hemisphere.
December Solstice (Wikipedia)
21 Jupiter 0.10° SE of Saturn at 19h UT (30° from Sun, evening sky). Mags. −2.0 and 0.6.
The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn (BBC Sky at Night)
Jupiter and Saturn come together in a 'once in a lifetime' show (ABC Science)
21 First Quarter Moon at 23:41 UT.
24 Moon near Mars (evening sky) at 0h UT. Mag. −0.4.
Mars (Wikipedia)
24 Moon at Apogee (farthest from Earth) at 17h UT (distance 405,012 km; angular size 29.5').
27 Moon near the Pleiades at 2h UT (evening sky).
The Pleiades (Wikipedia)
27 Moon near Aldebaran at 20h UT (evening sky).
Aldebaran (Wikipedia)
30 New Moon at 3:29 UT.
31 Moon near Castorat 3h UT (morning sky).
31 Moon near Polluxat 8h UT (morning sky).
All times Universal Time(UT).   USA Central Standard Time = UT - 6 hours.

Clear skies till next month

Jeff's Binocular Picks
Click Here to see an Adobe Acrobat file of Jeff's monthly choices of best objects to observe with binoculars.