Winter Solstice occurs late this evening at 10:27 PM EST, with our shortest day and longest night of the year. The longest night starts with an excellent arrangement of the waxing Gibbous Moon emerging from the twilight with Jupiter to its right near 4:30 PM in the east-southeast. They dominate the evening sky as they progress to due south by 7:40 PM, more than halfway up from the horizon.
Jupiter and the waxing Gibbous Moon again enjoy the spotlight this evening, though you’ll note the Moon has slid to the left of Jupiter, due to its orbit around the Earth. Even so, they are conspicuous in the southeast by 4:30 PM, and find their way to due south by 8 o’clock, about two-thirds of the way up from the horizon.
A waxing Gibbous Moon nearly obscures its celestial company with its glow. Barely visible, to the Moon’s left, lie the cluster of stars known as the Seven Sisters, or the Pleiades. Naturally, tonight would not be the ideal night for viewing, but later next week, without the Moon, they’re a curious patch of stars, seen even better through binoculars.