5 astronomical events to look forward to this December on Merseyside

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Geminids Meteor shower

Over 100 meteors an hour could be spotted as the Geminids Meteor shower peaks on December 12th.

Astronomers say the best time to see the meteor shower is between December 12th – December 15th after 2am away from light pollution.

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Credit: Kenneth Brandon

Supermoon

This one won’t be as impressive as Novembers, but we still love a good supermoon, as they make stunning photographs.

Another supermoon will glow in the night sky on December 14th.

A supermoon is when a full moon appears 14% bigger and 30% brighter than usual as the moon orbits closer to the earth.

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Winter Solstice

Winter solstice is the longest night of the year and the shortest day of the year, there is less daylight than any other day, which will occur on December 21st

The solstice occurs when when the sun’s daily maximum height in the sky is at its lowest, and the North Pole is tilted furthest away from the sun.

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Ursids Meteor Shower

Another meteor shower will be visible during December after the Geminids shower.

The Ursids shower will peak on the night of December 22nd when around 100 meteors and hour will be visible.

The advice for any meteor showers is to head into dark locations away from any light pollution.

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New Moon

On December 29th a new moon will mark the start of  new lunar cycle and for some cultures means the start of a new month.

With 2017 just two days away then it could be an excuse to celebrate new year early if you are working new years eve.

A new moon is the first phase of the Moon, when it orbits as seen from the Earth, the moment when the Moon and the Sun have the same ecliptical longitude.

The Moon is not visible at this time except when it is seen in silhouette during a solar eclipse.

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