Christmas Eve 2016


This is the sky as seen from Madrid (latitude 40N) at 18:45 local time on December 24th 2016.



The circumstances of visibility are almost identical to 2008, with the difference that, this time, instead of Jupiter, it is Mars that is nearby.


Venus is 25 degrees high in the south-west, in the constellation of Capricornus. Its disk is, once again, just slightly more than half illuminated and, at magnitude –4.3, it is an impressive sight in the evening twilight.


Ten degrees above it is Mars, magnitude 0.8 and still unmistakable both because of its strong orange colour and that fact that there is no other “star” of comparable brightness nearby.