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Look up tonight for the Christmas 'star'

The bright lights of Venus and a new crescent Moon will be highly visible in the early evening sky on Dec.28, 2019.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Astronomy.org
December 24, 2019 - 6:00 AM

Along with Christmas holidays and some clear nights coming up this week, there are a few celestial events worth checking out in the nighttime sky.

This year’s enhanced Ursid meteor shower peaked on Sunday night, but there are still a few nights where viewers can hopefully see a larger than normal rate of meteors than the typical 5 to 10 per hour normally seen in this meteor shower which can be seen in the north sky, climbing higher in the sky through the night.

On Wednesday, Dec. 25, the closest we can come to a Christmas “star” this year will be the brightly lit planet of Venus, which will be highly visible in the evening southwest sky in the deepening twilight of Christmas Day.

According to Earthsky.org, the origins of the original Christmas star could have been a nova or supernova.

It could also have been a sighting of a conjunction with Jupiter and two other planets, if it was a true astronomical occurrence at all.

On Saturday, Dec. 28, the Moon will be in view in the southwestern sky just after sunset, with Venus appearing a couple of degrees above the new Moon’s crescent. They will make up the brightest objects in the sky from early twilight until they set shortly after 7 p.m., according to astronomy.com

Environment Canada says the evening and nighttime of Thursday, Dec. 26 should offer the clearest skies of the week.

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