Sun and Moon Data
To find sun and moon rising and setting times for your park or office, go to the U.S. Naval Observatory’s Complete Sun and Moon Data for One Day webpage.
An update on the moon, planets and night skies for December.
Visible planets during the period:
- Mars – Mars is visible in the early evening near the southwestern horizon.
- Jupiter – Jupiter rises just after sunset and is bright above the eastern horizon soon thereafter.
- Venus – Venus continues to be visible in the pre-dawn southeastern sky.
- Saturn – Saturn is also visible in the early morning sky, rising about a half hour before Venus.
- Mercury – Mercury rises about 40 minutes after Venus.
Calendar of upcoming celestial events:
- Thursday, 12/6 – Last quarter moon.
- Sunday, 12/9 – Venus and Mercury are just a few degrees apart.
- Tuesday, 12/11 – The moon passes close by Venus and Mercury in the morning sky, with Saturn just above the trio.
- Thursday, 12/13 – The moon is new (dark). The Geminid meteor shower is at its peak.
- Friday, 12/14 – The crescent moon is just to the right of Mars.
- Thursday, 12/20 – The moon is at first quarter.
- Friday, 12/21 – Winter solstice occurs just after 6 a.m. EST.
- Friday, 12/28 – The moon is full.
For more information on stars, planets and other night sky phenomena, go to “The Sky This Week” page at the U.S. Naval Observatory page at http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/tours-events/sky-this-week
Watches and Warnings
The principal watches and warnings posted as of early this morning were as follows. Note that these change over the course of a day and represent only initial daily forecasts. Click on this link for a full-sized map showing these hazards:
- Red flag warnings – The Front Range in Colorado.
- Winter storm watches, warnings and advisories – North central Utah, south central and northwest Montana, northern Idaho, and the west slopes of the North Cascades in Washington and Oregon.
- Flood watches, warnings and advisories – Areas in western Washington and Oregon and most of northern California.
- High wind watches, warnings and advisories – Areas in the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, California, Colorado and New Mexico.
For additional information on severe weather, go to the NOAA Storm Prediction Center at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/ .
Today’s NPS History
In The Parks
On December 3, 1779, the Pennsylvania Assembly paid cabinetmaker John Folwell for fashioning a replacement for its speaker's chair, destroyed during the British occupation of Philadelphia in the American Revolution. The "Rising Sun Chair," occupied by George Washington when presiding over the Constitutional Convention in 1787, is the most historic piece of furniture in Independence National Historical Park. Click here for other park anniversary dates.
On December 3, 2007, DeSoto VIP Beverly Brauner died of complications of a femur fracture suffered in a fall while working at the park. Click here for a full list of on-duty deaths.
From The Morning Report Archives
Today’s incident from the Morning Report archives:
Great Smoky Mountains NP – On the afternoon of October 3, 1988, four visitors returning from a hike to Laurel Falls came upon three men breaking into their vehicles. The men fled and were pursued by the visitors, who were able to force the car clouters to the curb at a stoplight in Gatlinburg. A scuffle ensued and two of the men were subdued; the third fled on foot. Rangers and city officers responded. The rangers charged the two men with larceny and the city officers charged the driver with DUI and the passenger with public intoxication. An investigation was underway at the time of the report.