Up above the shimmering glow of evening Christmas lights and festive fireworks, there exists a star-filled sky, an infinite celestial spectacle that captures the imagination.
Cold, crisp winter nights deliver clear skies and a breathtaking panorama of stars, planets, and other celestial wonders. Whether you’re nestled in a quaint countryside village or gazing up from the heart of a bustling city, the Christmas sky offers a unique and magical experience.
If you gaze up to the Christmas sky just after sunset you’ll see the Orion the Hunter constellation rising from the east. With its distinctive three-star belt, it stands tall and proud, and as a result, is easy to find with the naked eye.
The constellation Gemini, the Twins, graces the northern sky, and is usually found just above and to the left of Orion. If you are lucky you might catch a glimpse of a meteor shower. The Geminids, an annual meteor shower, run through the Advent period peaks on December 14th and 15th this year, and always promise a dazzling display of shooting stars.
The Pleiades, also known as the Seven Sisters, is a tiny seven-star cluster, twinkling delicately nearby, adding a touch of elegance to the night. Although visible to the naked eye, BBC Sky at Night recommends using binoculars to see the dimmer stars within each cluster.
In a cosmic dance, the planets join the festive parade. Jupiter and Saturn, often called the “Christmas planets,” are both prominent throughout December evenings, and draw close together to create a celestial conjunction that captivates astronomers and casual observers alike. Around the 21st of December, Jupiter and Saturn sometimes come so close together they form what is known as the ‘Christmas Star’, a proper festive treat!
Mars and Mercury are the morning star and can usually be seen about one hour before sunrise, the latter being most visible in the morning on 31 December.
The crisp winter nights create a wonderful time for stargazing, inviting us all outdoors for a fire pit, hot chocolate and blankets, to marvel at the wonders overhead.
I am a practising HR consultant working with several start-ups on an ongoing and ad-hoc basis in the London and M4 area, and am a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development or CIPD. I am the Director of thecareercafe.co.uk; thecareercafe.co.uk is a resource for start-ups and small business. It includes a blog containing career advice, small business advice articles, HR software reviews, and contains great resources such as HR Productivity Apps.