Planets on parade
December 2005: You don't need a telescope to enjoy the Geminid meteor shower or the bright planets and twinkling winter stars on display this month.
It's easy to appreciate the night sky's beauty without fancy equipment. Just step outside for 5 minutes and look around. About 45 minutes after sunset this month, brilliant Venus rides above the deepening orange twilight in the southwest. Mean-while, the twinkling white star Fomalhaut breaks the quiet of the southern horizon, and the ruddy luster of Mars commands your gaze to the east.