Moon and Mars Converge--Tonight!
Please don't miss this: At sunset on Sunday, Dec. 23rd, the full Moon and Mars will rise in the east less than two degrees apart. So close together, the two brightest objects in the evening sky look absolutely dynamite. The display will be visible all night long, even from brightly lit cities, and requires no telescope to enjoy.
URSID UPDATE: Observers in Europe report a modest outburst of Ursid meteors last night. The intensity and timing of the flurry is in good accord with predictions that Earth would run into a stream of dust from Comet 8P/Tuttle on Dec. 22nd. Now that the meteor shower is over, attention turns to the comet itself. After a 13.6 year absence, 8P/Tuttle is once again traveling through the inner solar system. At closest approach to Earth on Jan. 1st and 2nd, 2008, the comet, will brighten to 5th or 6th magnitude--a fine target for backyard telescopes and digital cameras.