Christmas Eve 2008


This is the sky as seen from Madrid (latitude 40N) at 18:45 local time on December 24th 2008.



Venus is in Capricornus, but no less than three naked-eye planets are visible in the south-west at dusk, although an extremely clear and clean horizon will be needed to see Mercury which, with magnitude –0.7, is just setting and is only a degree and a half high.


Jupiter, magnitude –1.9, is 9 degrees high and a much easier object, although still very challenging for city dwellers.


At magnitude –4.3 and 24 degrees high, Venus is an easy target for the observer. With a telescope we will see that its small disk is just slightly more than half full.