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With Christmas hot on our heels, we are all busy getting prepped for the festive season and it’s a hectic and demanding time for most. To survive the crunch, perhaps a spot of stargazing can help you take a breath and bring back some calm.

Standing out under a lovely dark night sky, enjoying a show of ‘shooting stars’, will certainly take your mind off the Christmas shopping! Stargazers will be treated to the delights of the Geminids meteor shower with the possibility of seeing many meteors dashing across the sky per hour, depending on your dark sky location.

When to look: 13 and 14 December, from midnight until early morning but best after 2 am when the Moon has set. The Geminids peak on the 14th, but try nights either side as well. The meteor shower is active for a couple of weeks.

Which direction to look: Northeast and north about 45 degrees above the horizon.

And if that is not enough, don’t forget dazzling Venus sitting in the western sky at twilight is quite mesmerising to see. On 7 December, the crescent Moon will be near Venus to enhance the view even more.

December is also known as ‘First Summer’ by the Noongar Aboriginal Calendar and called Birak.

Merry Christmas and happy stargazing everyone.

Find more stargazing tips and country events at www.astrotourismwa.com.au.
If you’re a budding “astro-enthusiast”, check out…Stargazers Club WA’s telescope classes and astronomy events for beginners at: www.stargazersclubwa.com.au.