PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — There’s still plenty left to look forward to — and to look up to — in 2022, starting with the upcoming Winter Solstice.
On Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 1:48 p.m., the winter solstice that signifies the shortest day and longest night of the year will officially commence in the northern hemisphere.
From Saturday, Dec. 17 to Sunday, Dec. 25, Portlanders will experience about 8 hours and 42 minutes of sunlight per day. But according to OMSI Director of Space Science Education Jim Todd, the days will slowly but surely grow longer after the 21st.
What’s arguably more exciting, however, is the “planet parade” that starts on Friday, Dec. 23. Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars will all align, giving observers the perfect opportunity to take in the view at nighttime.
Todd recommended looking for the five aligned planets about 30 minutes after the sun sets. Venus will be the easiest to spot, followed by Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury. Pluto, Neptune and Uranus may be difficult for the naked eye to see, but the director said a large telescope could help people see all eight planets at night time.
Try to catch them before Jan. 8, 2023, when Todd says “Mercury sinks below the western horizon as it makes its westward journey.”
On Wednesday, Dec. 28, planets Venus and Mercury will be in conjunction at a mere 1.5 degrees apart. Todd says you can look for the pair with binoculars between 30 and 40 minutes after sunset.
OMSI’s Starry Nights Live! in the Kendall Planetarium teaches more about the winter solstice and other happenings in the night sky throughout the month.