Astrologers and other stargazers will have their moments this December as the planet Venus, the hottest planet in the solar system will be visible during some days prior to and after Christmas.
Bonus to this spectacle will be Jupiter and Saturn—all in the sunset direction, with Venus, which spins clockwise on its axis and whose day is longer than Earth's one year, being the lowest in the sky or nearest the sunset but still very bright.
Venus had its greatest brilliancy on December 3, most glorious on December 4, and again on December 8, and by end of December will be visible in the evening sky with Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn.
PAGASA said in its astronomical diary Sunday there would also be a couple of Moon-planetary conjunctions, in which the moon would appear to be close with other planets this week.
"For the whole month of December, Venus can be observed in the southwestern part of the sky after sunset. However, in late December, Venus may be already difficult to observe as it is just a few degrees above the horizon," PAGASA said.
The agency said "the close pairing" between Venus and the Moon will be visible in the southwest horizon from around 5:41 to 8:13 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 7, and at midnight on Dec. 8, "Venus will reach its greatest brightness."
On Saturday, a total solar eclipse plunged Antarctica from summer into darkness in a rare astronomical spectacle.
"The visibility was excellent," said Raul Cordero of the University of Santiago de Chile (USACH), who was on site to witness "totality," with the "ring of fire" phase lasting just over 40 seconds.
Solar eclipses occur when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, casting its shadow on Earth. For the eclipse to be total, the Sun, Moon, and Earth must be directly aligned.