I hope you have been able to observe the Geminid meteors before sunrise. If not, they should still be good this week, even though the shower is past its peak.

The moon is out of the sky for a few days which will help with meteor observing. The Pleiades, the Seven Sisters, will be directly south and nearly overhead at 10:30 p.m., a good time to view them in binoculars or a small telescope. You might also be lucky enough to catch one or more Geminids at the same time.

The winter solstice is a week from Thursday, Dec. 14, at 9:28 a.m. The term solstice is used twice a year – around June 21. for the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and around Dec. 21 for the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.

Actually, our day is defined for civil purposes as being 24 hours long with each day having the same length as any other day. When we use the term “day” with respect to the solstices, we mean the time of daylight from when the sun rises until it sets. Thus, the longest period of daylight is at the summer solstice, and the shortest period of daylight is at the winter solstice. The summer solstice is the official start of summer, and the winter solstice is the official start of winter. The solstices are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere.