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, 12/13 – 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 – The 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:
- Winter storm watches, warnings and advisories – The Sierra Nevadas and mountainous areas in southern California, southern Nevada, an area centered on northern Idaho, northeast South Dakota.
- High wind watches, warnings and advisories – Areas in southern California, southwest Montana, southeast Wyoming and west Texas.
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 12, 1862, the Union ironclad gunboat Cairo became the first vessel in history to be sunk by an electrically detonated mine as it steamed up the Yazoo River north of Vicksburg, Mississippi, to destroy Confederate batteries and clear channel obstructions. Its salvaged remains are displayed at Vicksburg National Military Park. Click here for other park anniversary dates.
On December 12, 1999, Steve Makuakane-Jarrell, 42, a ranger at Kaloko-Honokohau NHP, was shot and killed by a transient that he’d stopped to talk with about his dogs being off-leash.
Click here for a full list of on-duty deaths.
From The Morning Report Archives
Today’s incident from the Morning Report archives:
Lake Mead NRA – A 57-year-old concession employee was changing an electrical fuse in a power pole in Cottonwood Cove on the evening of August 27, 1988, when he received an electrical shock and fell 20 feet, hitting his head on his flatbed truck. He did not survive.